Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa


TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#457629
Rolling a leaf - Eumarozia malachitana

Rolling a leaf - Eumarozia malachitana
Rancocas Nature Center NJAS, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
September 18, 2010
Size: 10-12 mm
I have been wondering how leaf rollers engineer their nests. How do they bend leaves and build shelters many times bigger than themselves? I finally had a chance to see and to video one in action. I gave this leaf roller a new leaf of its host plant (I think that it is some kind of cherry) and it started spinning and weaving right away.
According to Terrence Fitzgerald, (Caterpillars roll their own. Natural History v. 104 (April 1995) p. 30-7) when the silk comes out of the spinnerets it has the texture of a gel that can be stretched like a rubber band. It soon contracts to its normal size and starts pulling the ends together.
The following pictures show the process, which can be seen better in this video. It worked so fast that the head looks like a blur in some photos. The final image was taken an hour later.
The way you see the fecal pellets work their way down the intestine is pretty interesting too but it doesn't show in this video.

Update, 10/15/2010. This caterpillar pupated and a moth emerged on 10/3/2010. It was badly damaged but there was another cocoon and a moth emerged around 10/13/2010. Here are the pupa (10/3/2010) and adult 10/15/2010):


Higher resolution image

Images of this individual: tag all
Rolling a leaf - Eumarozia malachitana Rolling a leaf - Eumarozia malachitana Rolling a leaf - Eumarozia malachitana Rolling a leaf - Eumarozia malachitana Rolling a leaf - Eumarozia malachitana

Beatriz,
Great video and explanation.
Is this video posted somewhere else on BG such that it could have a wider audience?
Thanks.

Moved
Moved from Moths.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.