2007-03-15, University of Nebraska - Lincoln.This cocoon was on the ground outside one of the buildings at UNL. It was initially intact, with a coating of leaves and the caterpillar's silk. It was hard to open, and I think I probably should not have opened it. That major blunder aside, you can see that it has not developed legs or wings yet, but the outlines are in place.
It's sole defense at this point is wiggling. Anytime the cocoon is moved, it spins a circle in the cocoon, and it is a very odd sensation if you don't know what is in it. I guess they are like the worms in the "jumping beans."
I am not sure of the type of moth that will emerge, but I will know sometime.
It does not need water or anything like that, since it was intended to be sealed up until hatching. The cocoon seemed fairly impervious to the elements. I had to use a knife to cut it open. My only concern at this point is that it may get too dry without it's shell. I will have to talk to someone about that.
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