Sunday, 2 December 2012

Pupae Identification - 'Puss Moth' ?

With the wonders of the internet I can now suggest that the pupae you have found could be that of a puss moth perhaps, what do you think?  It does indeed look very like a pellet with the stringy elements.

'The puss moth caterpillar has a green body with a black or brown 'saddle' on its back, which is bordered in white.  There can be variations in the colour of the 'saddle'although the white lines are always present.  The head has a bright orange ring around it with two false black eyes.  Just prior to pupation most of the body turns orange and then purple but the white lines remain.
The rear legs have developed into long whip-like appendages which it flails around when in danger.  As an extra defense it can spray formic acid from its head.
The puss moth caterpillar overwinters on tree trunks, or wooden posts, inside a tough cocoonwhich resembles a limpet shell.'

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