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Saunders‘case moth - Metura elongatus Found the cocoon in a Dodonaea shrub and observed the caterpillar feeding on Dodonaea leaves. In the Image the Head only popped out just enough to reach a leaf. Me just touching the scrub was enough for it to retreat very quickly and shut the opening. When the opening is shut it is impossible to open it without causing damage. The caterpillar must use its feet to hold it shut. Australia,Geotagged,Metura elongatus,Saunders' case moth,Summer Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Saunders‘case moth - Metura elongatus

Found the cocoon in a Dodonaea shrub and observed the caterpillar feeding on Dodonaea leaves. In the Image the Head only popped out just enough to reach a leaf. Me just touching the scrub was enough for it to retreat very quickly and shut the opening. When the opening is shut it is impossible to open it without causing damage. The caterpillar must use its feet to hold it shut.

    comments (2)

  1. Thanks for documenting this behavior. How the case opening works is quite intriguing. Arp also had a good image recently showing a frontal view of it:

    Amicta cabrerai - Older caterpillar  Acanthopsychini,Amicta,Amicta cabrerai,Bagworm,La Palma (Canary Islands),Oiketicinae,Psychidae
    Posted 2 months ago, modified 2 months ago
  2. Arp’s image is good to explain it. Posted 2 months ago

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Saunders' case moth or the large bagworm is a moth of the Psychidae family. It is known from the eastern half of Australia, including Tasmania.

Similar species: Moths And Butterflies
Species identified by Ernst
View Ernst's profile

By Ernst

All rights reserved
Uploaded Mar 14, 2020. Captured Mar 12, 2020 16:40 in 3 Coupland Ave, Tea Gardens NSW 2324, Australia.
  • Canon EOS 700D
  • f/8.0
  • 1/256s
  • ISO200
  • 85mm