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5 Feb:This is largest case or bag moth "cocoon" I have seen. The length was 15 cms. Caterpillar black with orange patches, pale-colored head. The 'bag' was attached by a small thread to hold it in place. The caterpillar emerged to feed on the surrounding leaves, and retreated when startled. 6 Feb: The caterpillar/bag had moved about 40cms away, to fresh feeding grounds.
Feeding on Breynia sp. 'Iron Range', in gardens of James Cook University Cairns Campus.
The additives to the casing looked like fur (looked quite soft) and 2cm spines but on closer inspection it seemed to be dried grass tips (felt coarse) and the 'spines' were sharpened twigs to protect it from predators. (see pic 5) The opening at the top was very silky and soft (pic 4)
Spotted on Feb 5, 2014
Submitted on Feb 6, 2014