BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Our Wild World -

Bag­worms are no more worms than slow-worms, inch-worms or glowworms. They are a fam­ily of moths whose cater­pil­lars live par­tic­u­larly shel­tered lives. The ‘bags’ in ques­tion are usu­ally rather ram­shackle – frag­ments of dead veg­e­ta­tion stitched to­gether hig­gledy-pig­gledy with silk. But the cater­pil­lars of the tower case moth, an Aus­tralian bag­worm, are more fas­tid­i­ous. Not only do they cut twigs of ex­actly the right girth to ex­actly the right length and group them ac­cord­ingly – adding larger sec­tions as they grow – they ap­par­ently colour-match them, too. But then, they don’t get out much. The fe­males will never leave their bag, trans­form­ing into wing­less adults that mate, lay eggs and die there.

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