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I'd be surprised if this was a Puss Moth - I thought that usually makes its cocoon on the bark of a tree using chewed up wood pulp, rather than the leaf fragments shown here?
Would be useful to know what size it was, what habitat and what the plants were.
Entomologist and biological recorder
It was 25mm long and about 10mm wide. We found three of these on a Dwarf Kilmanoch Willow in the garden. They were located near the bottom of the drooping branches, less than half a metre off the ground. The willow is growing near a waneylap fence close to a garden pond, which in turn is about 15 metres from a fairly high privet hedge.
Other plants/shrubs close by are raspberry bushes, apple tree, heather, euphobia.
Classically they do use wood pulp, but they aren't particularly fussy about it, and the use (or not) of wood doesn't seem to change the colour of the cocoon - even when spun on glass they've been the same dark brown colour. I'm not fully convinced myself, but the size and the fact they're on a willow make me more confident...
Record your ladybird sightings!
The overall shape, colour and the appearance of a net like surface adds up to some of the characteristics of an Oak Eggar pupa.
Thanks Robert. I did some more research and came up with this link: http://www.ukleps.org/morphology.html which has an illustration which looks very similar to the ones in my garden.
good shout, could easily be that
Would you like to add Oak Eggar as a second identification Robert?
Today an insect emerged from the pupa. It was not at all like anything I was expecting. It looks more Bee like than the moth I was expecting. I have taken a photo of it and am about to post it (I could do with linking it to this thread but am not sure how to).
It cut a hole in the case about 7mm dia. through which it emerged sometime this am. It was found newly emerged climbing the twig the the pupa case was on - it had been kept in the kitchen since we discovered it,
Wow, I wasn't expecting that! This is a sawfly, in genus Trichiosoma I think, and probably Trichiosoma lucorum although I'm not certain of the species. And having investigated further it does appear that Trichiosoma larvae do construct these tough cocoons, something I never realised before. The larvae feed on various plants including hawthorns and willows.
Ian Smith has posted some images of the cocoon of T. lucorum on the sawflies egroup, which are very similar to yours, but I suspect you have to sign up to the egroup before you can see the photo:
Thanks for the information, I will follow the link shortly. On looking through Insects of Britain and Western Europe, Michael Chinery, p225 illustrates a Hawthorn Sawfly which looks similar to the one in the photo above. There is a note on the facing page referring to it cutting one edge of the cocoon before emerging.
Well well well - we were all way off! Should have got closer to that given that I've just reared a couple of Large Birch Sawflies, Cimbex femoratus, which have a very similar cocoon. The neat cocoon slicing seems to be a hymenopteran trait - quite a few of the parasitoid wasps slice their way out of the host cocoon in a similar fashion
rimo, would you be able to remove your agreement from Oak Eggar, and then add it to Trichiosoma, so that we get the correct species showing as the likely ID? Thanks!
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