Healthy Nadata Gibbosa Cocoon???
Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, USA
May 28, 2017
A couple months back I went to a state park and on my way home I had realized I picked up a passenger. I was too close to home to turn around and return the little green caterpillar so I decided I'd get my gallon jar out and take care of him. I've since named him Nelson and he was happily munching on some rinsed off oak leaves for about a week or two before he all the sudden disappeared from his habitat. I turned over every leaf and could not find him at all. So as I admitted defeat and decided that he must've somehow escaped, I dumped out the dirt in the bottom of his habitat. Just as I was about to sweep the dirt off of my porch I saw the little guy wriggling around and I quickly scooped him back up and put the habitat back together. But this time he wasted no time eating or climbing around, instead I watched him dig down along the side of the glass jar until he had completely disappeared.
That was early June, now its late July and in the mean time I did some research and found out that some species of caterpillars burrow to pupate. Well I worry a lot and I was worried that I had somehow killed the cocoon. I had been keeping the dirt pretty moist but there was still no sign of the little guy. So today, I grew impatient and gently dumped out and sifted through the dirt until I found a small clump, about the size of a pop cap,, that seemed to be held together by something like a spiderweb. I was curious to what it was so I VERY gently brushed it off and discovered the little cocoon (I'm assuming) inside of the spiderweb stuff.
Now, my question is, is this cocoon healthy?? And can anyone tell me anything more about the Nadata Gibbosa (that's what I identified Nelson as)? And finally, does anyone know how long it takes for these guys to mature into adults? I've searched the web and came up dry, so I figured, maybe an internet bug enthusiast may be able to help me. Thank you!