Thursday, April 16, 2009
Back to the (Local) Bugs
And what can be more local than that which crawls up the wall of my house? This is the first time I've seen the bug inside the pod, or case if you prefer. The household casebearer moth (Phereoeca uterella) caterpillar, seen here hauling its case made of silk and whatnot (sand, soil, insect parts or poo, whatever it finds) up the wall of my porch, has left its little melon-seed-shaped cases glued to the wall and made me wonder what in the heck they are. So now I know.
The case has enough room inside for the larva to turn around, and it will use both of the entrances (one at each end) to poke its head and true legs out. When danger threatens they retreat into the case and close up the ends. How do they know when it's safe to emerge again? These guys eat old spider webs, I'm told. But also they maybe eat other animal fibers like wool or hair. Not usually a pest but if you see an awful lot of them around your valuable wool rugs I'd worry. Luckily I have no valuable rugs.
This guy was heading up the wall in what seemed like a mighty struggle carrying the heavy case, but it eventually made it to a ceramic sun thingy hanging on the wall, behind which there is an abundance of, you guessed it, spider webs.