The Evergreen Bagworm is an interesting caterpillar. It has the peculiar habit of living inside a “bag” constructed of bits of the plant material it feeds on, and dragging it around as it eats. When disturbed, the bagworm pulls itself back into the bag.
The bags are carefully interwoven using silk produced by the caterpillar and bits of leaves and twigs from the host plant resulting in a well-disguised covering. On pine trees, its cone-shaped bags are often mistaken for pine cones, which help them to go undetected. At this time of year, eggs are over-wintering inside this bag made by their mother last year. Here’s one that I saw earlier in the week in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The bee-like adult males have clear wings and fur covered bodies. But females do not look like moths (they have no wings, legs, antennae, eyes, or mouthparts) and remain in their silken bags throughout their entire lives.
Nature has an array of clever camouflage, and the Evergreen Bagworm is a great example of a creature that goes about its life largely unnoticed.