Today we join the Department of Teeny-weeny Wonders in astonishment at the golden mesh marvel that is the cocoon of the Urodidae moth. Also known as “false burnet moths,” these small to medium sized moths spend their pupal stage in unusual and incredibly beautiful open-mesh cocoons, which are sometimes suspended on a very long thread below a leaf.
“This type of cocoon is known as a ”open-network cocoon“ and is unlike other cocoons in that it doesn’t completely enclose the pupa in silk. Instead, it only partially surrounds it, likely enabling better airflow to control for humidity and may help prevent fungi from growing on, and eventually killing, the pupa. This cocoon very likely belongs to a moth in the family Urodidae, which is known for making this type of lattice-structured cocoon surrounding its pupa.”
Hearing a constant buzzing outdoors this time of year? If it’s not road construction, it’s probably the cicadas. They derive their name from the Latin cicada, meaning “tree cricket”, but their means of sound production - using a “tymbal” on their thorax, rather than the rasping hind legs that crickets use - means that when a number of males get together to call mates, they can reach over 100 decibels. That’s as loud as a low-speed chainsaw, a jet engine at 1000 feet, or a motorcycle you’re riding.