This cocoon was on a post at the start of the Little Blue Gum Creek walk. It’s large, about 15cm long, with sticks woven into the sides. I remember seeing many like this when I was growing up but had never known what animal made them.
A quick search pointed to it being a Saunder’s Case Moth cocoon. During their caterpillar phase case moths make their cocoons out of silk, most species attach sticks, leaves or other debree as camouflage. Each species had a distinct type of cocoon, but they are also constrained by available materials so even within a single species cases can vary in materials and appearance.
Case moths don’t just use the cocoon to metamorphose, they live there throughout their Caterpillar phase which lasts 1 – 2 years. Even after changing to a moth the females continue to use it as a home.
After a quick search I found were it is, and also that there is a short boardwalk through the bush at the creek. It’s nearby so in between rain showers last weekend we ducked down there with the kids to take a look.
There’s a small parking lot right out the front on the corner of Lady Game Drive and Grosvenor Rd. It’s a really nice little walk, raised boardwalk the whole way weaving through lush vegetation and what must be a grove of tall straight blue gums. Information plaques say the area is also home to a colony of microbats, there is a sculpture at the end of the walk that doubles as a bat refuge.
It really is a short walk, can’t have been longer than a few hundred meters. You can hop off the boardwalk at the end and continue along a narrow bush trail, I would have liked to have done it but it had started raining again while we were there so decided to leave that to next time.