This small 2-inch pine cone looking structure is the cocoon of a psychidae, more commonly known as the bagworm. Bagworms are weird little creatures that carry their shelter wherever they go as they munch on your trees. Their cocoons, or "bags," are made of silk and plant matter from their host tree. Be careful not to pick this pine cone as you might end up with a wiggling caterpillar instead! Fun fact: Adult females do not develop eyes, wings, functional legs, or mouthparts; she will never leave her bag from when she was a little larva! Domain: Eukarya Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Clade: Euarthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Lepidoptera Series: Tineiformes Family: Psychidae
I found this cocoon attached to the outside of a window in rural Indiana, USA. When this photo was captured, the weather was mild and sunny. Had the weather been unfavorable, the location of the bag would have easily protected the psychidae larva as it was hidden by four sturdy walls and connected to the ledge above the window.
As I was looking more into bagworms, I found that when the larva is fully matured, his or her bag may be anywhere from 30-50 mm long. Mature larvae are between 18-25 mm long and are a flat, grimy gray color flecked with dark marks towards their heads.