Me, Litterbug

by Carl Strang

Last week, Nikki Dahlin and I found a black plastic bag blown up against the base of a tree at Mayslake Forest Preserve. We were going to throw it away, but Nikki noticed something.

A polyphemus moth caterpillar had pupated against the bag. Normally its secretions would simply cement its wraparound dead leaf, but here the bag was attached as well.

A polyphemus moth caterpillar had pupated against the bag. Normally its secretions would simply cement its wraparound dead leaf, but here the bag was attached as well.

A dilemma. I decided to compromise, cutting away and properly disposing of the bulk of the bag, but returning the bit of plastic with the cocoon to the ground, as shown in the photo. Technically that makes me a litterbug, but I intend to return periodically to check, and will remove the plastic when the moth is out.

Can’t help but wonder how far that bag with its dormant passenger was blown through the air before landing at Mayslake, a preview of the moth’s flying days to come.

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa Rainsong said,

    May 10, 2015 at 7:23 am

    What an interesting story!


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