Last November I found this maple leaf with a cocoon inside still attached to a branch. The cocoon was about half an inch wide and 2 inches long. Sometime during the spring, it disappeared. What do you think was inside? Karen Webster
Kenn and Kimberly: This is the cocoon of a wild silk moth species, almost certainly a polyphemus moth. The polyphemus is one of the largest and most beautiful moths in North America, and maples are among the favored host plants for their stout green caterpillars. The adults live for only a few days, just long enough to mate and lay eggs. If you’re lucky, you might spot one in late spring or early summer.