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MWC Eco-brief: Polyphemus Moths and Leaf Litter

When it comes time for a transformation, the Polyphemus moth caterpillar wraps itself in a leaf of its host plant, such as an oak, maple, birch, etc. Being a silk moth, the caterpillar encases the cocooned leaf in silk. In autumn, many cocoons drop to the ground when the host leaf falls from the tree. Inadvertently, many of these caterpillars perish when leaves are cleaned out of yards. This Polyphemus emerged from an area of garden where maple leaves are left undisturbed.

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