In nature, a cocoon is a neat, tidy little time capsule. The caterpillar fashions itself into a sleeping bag and doesn’t unzip the opening until it’s ready to emerge as a beautiful butterfly (or ugly moth).


Nope. That’s not always the case. Though it took me a couple days to work out what was going on.

David just painted the front door surrounds a nice, brilliant white so when a cocoon of sticks appeared on the door post, it really stood out. I removed the cocoon, which appeared to be stuck with a silky type of glue only at the top, and put it into a little dish to show the girls.

Cocoon, January 2010
The bag moth is from the Psychidae family.

However, the next day, when I went to retrieve the cocoon from its place on the shelf, the cocoon was gone. We had once before experienced a disappearing caterpillar, but I didn’t think geckos ate cocoons too.

Looking around, I finally spotted the cocoon. It was hanging from the ceiling. How did it get there?, I wondered.

Cocoon, January 2010
The cocoon moved from the dish on the shelf up to the ceiling.

Then it became a little game for me. I kept returning to the cocoon throughout the day to see if it had moved again. Finally, one night, I caught a glimpse of the caterpillar moving its caravan around.

Cocoon, January 2010
When I first turned the light on to take a picture, the caterpillar retreated into its home, but later it became more bold and posed for several photographs.

Over the past couple of days, the caterpillar moved from the ceiling down to under the shelf and then back up the ceiling again — but always under cover of darkness. It was fun to check each morning and see where it had positioned itself.

I really don’t have the time right now to properly study this caterpillar/cocoon, so I’ve passed it on to a friend whose boys are intently studying metamorphosis. I know it’s in good hands and look forward to seeing (in absentia) exactly what lepidoptera emerges!