Our butterfly guide, Robin, has often seen this pupa and wondered what it was – it’s a Tiger Moth!
Tiger Moth caterpillars don’t spin a full cocoon. The pupa is suspended in a basket woven out of the caterpillar’s body hairs rather than silk.
The cocoon made by the caterpillar is quite remarkable. It is an open mesh cage, constructed out of larval hairs held together with silk.
The hairs are too short to construct the cage directly, so the caterpillar attaches pairs of hairs to each other end to end, and uses these pairs to make the sides of the cage.
Photos courtesy of