Cecropia Caterpillar Spins its Cocoon

Last night we made our first attempt to capture a time-lapse of our largest native caterpillar here in New Hampshire spinning its magnificent cocoon. Hyalophora cecropia, the Cecropia Giant Silk Moth, gets as large as a breakfast sausage and spins a huge, complex, double layered cocoon - we want to see every moment!

Check out near the end of this film, when the caterpillar appears to apply some liquid to the silk that quickly dries, staining the cocoon brown. Most finished cecropia cocoons are tan or brown - is this the color of the dried silk, or some other product of the caterpillar that we aren't aware of yet??

Stay tuned this summer - we hope to get the ultimate cecropia cocoon spinning sequence!

- Sam TCL Director

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The Caterpillar Lab fosters greater appreciation and care for the complexity and beauty of our local natural history through live caterpillar educational programs, research initiatives, and photography and film projects. We believe that an increased awareness of one’s local environment is the foundation on which healthy and responsible attitudes towards the broader natural systems of this world is built.

© 2015 CATERPILLAR LAB INC.  With original artwork by Heather Reid and Samuel Jaffe


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