It's also been a good long time since I've talked about and dumped photos of a cute interesting animal, so here's one for you: the bagworm moth caterpillar (and adult female moth).
For once I'm interested in the larval stage and not the moth itself, as photos of incredible tiny "log cabins" have been circulating on social media recently.
Basically there are shitloads of moths in the family the bagworm moth belongs to, and there is more than one species of "case bearer" (which would make a good song or album title or band name as one word) moth, which in some cases belongs to a totally different family of shitloads of other moths, and is unrelated.
For example, some of the case-builders or -bearers live in cedar and other evergreen trees, hatching and immediately covering themselves up with whatever they can grab and attach with coccoon silk:
Only the adult male moths emerge to find females to breed with. It sounds kind of sad to me, anyway, that the females never leave their cases, or do so for just long enough to procreate. But then, I guess it's not sad, because look! This one lives in a tiny hat:
c h a r m i n g
I can't lie to you about cuteness in a Cute Shit post, though: these little fuckers are actually pretty ugly under there.
A H H
Sorry about that.
But, onto the best part: the case bearers that chew off lengths of stem and sprig to stack atop themselves, resulting in log cabin-like structures that are sometimes pyramidal, sometimes spiraling, and sometimes both, because the stems and sprigs dry out and harden.
It's kind of like if a turtle had to build its own shell.
Oh, a heckin upside-down guy
Oof, extreme core strength
(Chien C. Lee)
Aww! Do you perhaps have rustic handcrafted wares for me to purchase, tiny travelling merchant?!
Aww, oh no! Look at how tiny this heckin upside-down guy is!
Oh noooo, his twigs are mossy! Stahp!
I think this incredibly quaint, high-resolution image of a mossy spiral "cabin" is the main one floating around right now. It occurred to me that we would also find this instantly adorable because "bagworm" is pretty reminiscent of "Baggins". Both are simple little creatures that spend their lives in comfortable tiny houses and rarely venture out, if ever.
Finally, here are some really lovely, compelling images of what is presumably a totally different species of case-bearing moth, in the South Sinai region of Israel!
Oh man, I love it!
Bagworm moths are found throughout the Eastern and Southern United States, too, so if you've ever seen a little cocoon-like clump of dried leaves or other plant detritus, it was probably meant to be a log cabin but didn't turn out as nice!
You can read more about the little buggers here, and they also included a picture of a very cute, soft, furry adult; they don't stay creepy and gross. Weird tiny doggo, but still a good boy.
Since I'm perpetually in Catch Up Mode and still need to trim, stick together, and upload the videos from last winter onward, and continue with blog posts from the end of this April onward, here are some of those other nature posts I mentioned if you're interested: