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Another exceptional example of animal architecture by a New Guinea species of casemoth (bagworm moth) of the family Psychidae. "The caterpillar larvae of the Psychidae construct cases out of silk and environmental materials such as sand, soil, lichen, or plant materials. These cases are attached to rocks, trees or fences while resting or during their pupa stage, but are otherwise mobile. The larvae of some species eat lichen, while others prefer green leaves. In many species, the adult females lack wings and are therefore difficult to identify accurately. 'Case-bearer" cases [on the other hand] are usually much smaller, flimsier, and consist mainly of silk, while bagworm "bags" resemble caddisfly cases in their outward appearance – a mass of (mainly) plant detritus spun together with silk on the inside. Bagworm cases range in size from less than 1 cm to 15 cm among some tropical species. Each species makes a case particular to its species, making the case more useful to identify the species than the creature itself. [The] More specialized species exhibit a greater variety of case size, shape, and composition."
Spotted on a dead/dessicated leaf of Bougainvillea sp. in a large semi-urban yard & garden adjacent to a disturbed remnant patch of forest.
I have now found several of these masterpiece "log cabins", always on Bougainvillea sp. (stems or leaves).
Spotted on Aug 29, 2012
Submitted on Aug 29, 2012
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