Friday, 3 February 2017

Mystery minibeast

Just wondering whether anyone recognises this? It's attached to an egg box in my moth trap - may have been there a while as it's only about 6mm long and very well camouflaged, so could easily have been overlooked..

Am guessing it's a pupa in a net-like cocoon, and it has 2 dark stripes on its upper side, and possibly another two below.

There's a picture of a Schreckensteinia festaliella larva ready for pupation in the Field Guide to Micro Moths book (thanks Paul), showing the net-like cocoon, but I can't find a convincingly striped larva/pupa photo.
Plutella xylostella makes a similar net case, but again haven't found any pictures where the stripes are evident - I guess it may change colour during the process - one site ( - an American website) stated that a pupa had changed from whitish to very dark overnight.
Guess rearing it on may be the only way, and I'm having a go, but it will be good to get folks' thoughts.

I've no idea how it came to be attached to the egg box!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sue,

    Yes, due to the lack of more good photos of possible species, this becomes quite a hard task to nail down the id. I would suggest that the best way forward is as you've suggested to rear it through.

    I would suggest in a pot with some damp moss, secure with a plastic bag, then put in a cool place out of any direct sunlight - check it regularly.