These Strange Bagworm Moths Create Incredible Tiny Houses Out of Twigs
Is that some sort of a tiny wooden Lego house there?
Not at all – this carefully sorted pile of twigs is actually the home of an insect called the bagworm moth. These marvelous little creatures spend most of their time constructing homes out of plants and wood.
While they are still larvae, these unique worms find a comfortable place to live and eat, such as a leaf or tree branch. Later on, they start exploring and gathering materials like twigs, leaves, and dirt to construct their tiny houses. The larvae can leave their homes to gather materials until they grow into adults – after that, the males become moths, while the females remain locked in for life.
The most beautiful thing is that the construction process isn’t random at all. A study of 42 bagworm nests from the Clania crameri species – which is native to India – showed that the architect worms are using variations of long and short sticks to construct their homes in a thought-out pattern. They collect and pile up sticks of different lengths and sizes and assemble them in a special pattern, creating a house that spirals as it goes up until it reaches a tip.
Full-grown females stay safe in their sacks forever. They create a space, mate, and eventually turn into a pile of eggs that will eventually hatch and become larvae.
Should you ever see a grown bagworm moth flying around, know that it’s a male – they are black and fuzzy and have transparent wings.
This all happens in the space of a few days to weeks. Grown females live just a few weeks, while the males only get to experience life for 1 to 2 days.
Sadly, not many botanists are too happy about the bagworm’s architectural abilities as the creatures are seen as pests, known for attaching themselves to plants and stripping them off their leaves or needles.
However, entomologists see the bagworm’s creative savviness as a marvel of nature.
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