blue sky

Home     Display     HandyHints

Seeing is Believing

    If it hadn't been pointed out to us, we might never have noticed this strange creature. It was almost invisible as it crawled through a garden bed littered with leaves, bits of bark and twigs. Suddenly aware of our presence, it ducked back into its protective home and remained unseen for an hour or more. Once it was sure the danger was over, the head and front part of the body emerged to continue the journey to a wooden retaining wall at the back of the bed which, as seen in the photo, it started to climb.

Saunders case moth

The Saunders Case Moth

  There are others of the species in Australia, but this one found in the Eastern part of the country is the largest. This example was about 10 cm, but they can grow to 15cm. Actually, grow is probably the wrong word. These caterpillars spend from 1-2 years inside their cases, adding to the construction as their bodies get larger. In order to expand, they will cut twigs to a suitable size, stick them temporarily on the top opening, then slide down into the case to cut a slit through the silk to the outside where the new decorations are to be attached. This labour-intensive job can take up to an hour per slit, the exterior of their mobile homes being so tough.
  They pupate inside the case which is often hung on a fence, tree or wall. At the end of this period, the male will become a winged moth able to fly off in search of a female to mate with. The lady, however, stays in her safe haven, waiting for suitors to come to her. As she doesn't have wings herself, it's a case of having to.

Top of page

Money     Health     Focus     Popcorn     Recipes     eBooks     About     Contact

copyright © 2014  All Rights Reserved