BTS 004: The Weirdest Cocoon You'll Ever See

BTS 004: The Weirdest Cocoon You'll Ever See
Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer

Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer

A cocoon with holes. It seems counter-intuitive till you think of the benefits.

The Amazonian moth, Urodus, seems pretty confident of its survival, with the "open-network cocoon" hanging just below a leaf. But that is where the design of the cocoon really shows its purpose.

By hanging in mid-air rather than sticking to a stem of vegetation like other common cocoons, the open-network cocoon protects the pupa inside to be eaten by ants.

And by having holes in the still rigid cocoon, there is better circulation of air and drainage of rainwater, minimising the risk of fungus and mold infection that would otherwise kill the pupa.

The pooling of rainwater might also cause the pupa to drown, so the open-network cocoon also eliminates that risk. That's right, pupae need to breathe!

(Via Rainforest Expeditions, Smarter Every Day, Learn About Butterflies)

Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer

Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer

Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer

Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer

Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer

Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer


BEHIND THE SCiENcE is a series about facts of the world worth knowing, worth sharing.
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