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I am following a caterpillar of an Oiketicus kirbyi moth, in an attempt to record the characteristics of the pupa and the female adult. Despite being an ordinary animal, I find little information about their lifestyle and metamorphosis, and almost no image of adults. Oiketicus kirbyi are very shy and rarely expose themselves outside the shelter, doing it only when feeding themselves or when enlarging the shelter as they grow up. I did a homemade amateur video with few resources, in the desire to show how the caterpillar geniously adds small pieces of sticks (Lipia alba) to the pre-raised basket with silk only. I also did some photos of the caterpillar handling the material used. Describing only what happens in the video: Oiketicus kirbyi cuts the tip of the twig with the aid of the mouth parts. It has a sensational perception of the right measure to be trimmed, and where it will be fixed, following a sequence. After trimming the stick, it locks it loosely on the edge of the basket entrance. The next part is quite time consuming and difficult, it will open a hole through the shelter. I suppose besides her mouth parts, she also uses her legs for this. Passage made, the Oiketicus kirbyi then collects the small piece of twig, pulls it near the passage, and holds it with silk. It will not stop putting silk until the twig is firmly attached and the passage completely closed. All this work lasted about 10 to 15 minutes; it will repeat the same process several times throughout the day. Later, it will cover the new part made with silk, for greater protection.
Host plant: Terminalia catappa. Urban garden.