Mid-summer – it’s time to build log cabins

On 21st January 2017 I noticed a cocoon on Newstead Natives’ smaller greenhouse, posted a photo of it on the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria Facebook page and people kindly identified it as being made by the caterpillar of an Australian Faggot Casemoth.

cocoon of female Australian Faggot Casemoth larvar with longer twig for visiting male small greenhouse, 21 January 2017female Australian Faggot Case Moth cocoon (Clania ignoblis) 21 January 2017

Exactly 12 months later I notice a similar structure has been built on my nursery trolley! It lacks the one long twig at bottom.

cocoon of male Australian Faggot Case Moth (no longer twig at bottom for visiting male) on trolley, 19 January 2018male Australian Faggot Case Moth cocoon (Clania ignoblis), 19 January 2018

Anthea Fleming said, “The long twig (on the case on the greenhouse) is provided by female so winged male can land on it and visit for mating – she drops eggs from her case and then dies. The second case (on nursery trolley) is a male’s – so no long twig. During the larval phase they move about quite a lot. Pupating cases may stay a long time”.

I wondered why the creature built onto man-made things and not onto trees (which are plentiful here at Newstead)? Madeleine Nayru says, “As far as I know there’s not really much research on why/how they choose where to pupate. There’s some suggestion that man-made structures often have less airflow and activity from other animals, and no growth that could disturb the pupa, but really we don’t know. Fun side fact though, there’s been research that has found moths and butterflies maintain memories from when they were caterpillars”.

One response to “Mid-summer – it’s time to build log cabins

  1. I wonder how they know they maintain memories from caterpillar days?

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