Saunder’s Case Moth Cocoon

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.

Saunder’s Case Moth Cocoon at the start of the Little Blue Gum Creek boardwalk.

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.

Cocoon close up, I wonder how they break up the sticks.

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.

Sources and more info:

Museum Victoria

Atlas of Living Australia

Wikipedia

10 thoughts on “Saunder’s Case Moth Cocoon

  1. Thanks for your post about the Saunders Case Moth. We have dozens attached to our fences, exterior walls of our house, fences and have found a few in roses and bushes (however I imagine there are many, many more!). We have often wondered who was inside and had been waiting for them to emerge.

    1. Hi I have them in my water gum. Hundreds of them and almost destroyed our tree. Anyone else experienced a case moth invasion?

      1. Wow, no I’ve not seen more than one at a time. I find I’m seeing more of them recently though, maybe they’re making a comeback like the brush turkeys

  2. Hi Joe, I’ve found two in my garden in Brisbane in the last week…one on a rose bush and one in an avocado tree. Thanks for helping me identify. Cheers RM

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