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Pupa in a Basket


This moth larva built an intricate and complicated little basket in which to pupate. About 1 cm long (the actual pupa about 8 mm). In the last picture the silk threads holding the basket to the leaf are visible. How is it possible that a larva can create such an amazing work of art which doesn't even seem to have much purpose for protection from weather or parasites. Possibly Wockia species, family Urodidae (see notes).


Forest floor vegetation, Chorreadero Park, Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico.


The basket is made in a square net pattern with tiny hairs protruding from the connections. It looks very much like a pupa and basket of Wockia species, a micro moth in the family Urodidae. Wockia moths used to be considered as an old world species but more recent studies have shown a species from Canada and the northeastern US (Wockia asperipunctella) and two newly described species from western dry forests of Mexico (Wockia mexicana and Wockia chewbacca (which is very funny!)), This may be either of the two species or a new species, since it was found in southern Mexico in the State of Chiapas, close to Guatemala. The area where it was observed is dry tropical forest most of the year and very close to a river which emerges from underground through a cave. I wish I had collected the pupa to wait for the moth to emerge and I will have to go back and look for more. See this reference for the two mexican species of Wockia: See also: for the northern species.

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doreen.chambers.14 4 years ago


LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Thank you Leana :)


LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Thank you Lisa, Luis, sunnyjosef and Mark. Yes! Air-conditioned for sure!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Congrats. Air-conditioned pupa.

sunnyjosef 5 years ago

Congrats Lauren..

LuisStevens 5 years ago

Congrats Lauren!

LisaPowers 5 years ago

Picked up and shared by Frans de Waal!

LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Thank you everyone for your kind comments!

Series spectacular!! Well-deserved SOTD. Congratulations, Lauren!

beaker98 5 years ago

Congratulations Lauren. This is a great spotting for sure!

Sckel 5 years ago

Congratulations, my friend. Beautiful photos. deserved

VivBraznell 5 years ago

Great series of images Lauren .. Congrats on the SOTD!

Ashutosh Dudhatra
Ashutosh Dudhatra 5 years ago

Congrats Lauren!

LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Thank you Lisa for the honor :)

LisaPowers 5 years ago

Congratulations LaurenZarate! This unusual insect pupa is our Spot of the Day! Thanks for continuing to submit such cool finds!

LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Thank you Irene :)

Irene Brady
Irene Brady 5 years ago

That really IS amazing. Nice spotting!

LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Thank you Irina and Bill :)

beaker98 5 years ago


IrinaSh 5 years ago

Very interesting,Lauren!

Spotted by

Chiapas, Mexico

Spotted on Aug 22, 2015
Submitted on Feb 17, 2016

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