Living in a Cage

February 29, 2012 at 11:36 am | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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Itchyfingers were leisurely cycling in Pulau Ubin one fine day on a double bike (ok, I’m lazy to negotiate the slopes!) when something strange caught my eyes. I don’t have the best eyesight and it was really amazing that I could spot it that day while cycling! I guess it must had been fate or just luck! :p Why did I say this? Look at this picture…

Huh? What’s there to see? Just some plants that most people can’t name…
including myself… :p I think I gotta study more about plants…

I hopped down from the bike…

There! What is this thing with a hair-like netting around it?

Wow! This looked so strange! The cage looked like it was made from some 
kinda hair-like substance….and the guy inside looked suspended there….

A closer look. We didn’t have proper camera with macro lens with us that
day, so this was the closest I could get. So bizarre looking! It certainly
looked like a butterfly or moth pupa though I couldn’t be sure. I know of
pupae that look like bird shit but have never heard or seen something like
this before…

A size comparison showed that it was about the size of my little itchyfinger…
roughly about 2cm long if you dun count the longer strands of “hair” 

I sent the photo to my scientist friend working in Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) and she forwarded it to another friend who studies insects. This is what I got, “This is the pupa of an Arctiid moth. The caterpillar also lives in such a space net, made from the hair of the caterpillar body. Adults are very colorful (primarily red, orange, yellow).”

Interesting. A quick search online on “moth pupa in a net” brings me to this site that showed a similar photo. It says, “When pupating, the caterpillars of many moths make cocoons or shelters using silk and other materials. This lichen moth makes an elaborate open mesh cocoon using the shed hairs from the hairy caterpillar which are held together with silk. The pupa is suspended in the middle.”

How interesting! 😀

Also see related posts:
> Mystery of a Caterpillar
> Seeing Double 


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