Take shel­ter

go! - - Upfront | Letters -

QMARY BAINES writes: I apol­o­gise for the qual­ity of the pho­to­graph, which was taken with a cell­phone by a friend liv­ing in Wind­hoek. She found this pupa case, cre­ated from bougainvil­lea flow­ers and leaves, on the frame of a sel­dom-opened win­dow. Can you tell us what has cre­ated this mar­vel of a home?

AEn­to­mol­o­gist DUN­CAN MACFADYEN says: This is a fas­ci­nat­ing photo. It’s the work of a moth within the group Pyral­i­dae – their lar­vae cre­ate such shel­ters. The Pyral­i­dae, com­monly called snout moths, are one of the largest fam­i­lies in the Lepi­doptera. The size of the shel­ter de­pends on the amount of ma­te­rial avail­able, and the size of the larva. Larva size varies con­sid­er­ably, de­pend­ing on the avail­abil­ity of food. Looks like this one had more than enough to eat!

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