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Friday, 24 May 2013

Hidden Secrets in the Heather !!

Walking on the many paths criss crossing our uplands ,and coming across one of the many Emperor Moth Cocoons spun to the Heather.On first inspection everything seems ok,but when looking more closely at the Cocoon, a small barely noticeable Hole on the side reveals that all is not quite as it seems ! An Emperor Moth Cocoon is an amazing construction,making it very difficult for predators to reach the Pupa inside.At the entrance at the top of the cocoon there is very stiff bristle like fibres that kind of spring back after the transformed moth pushes through,these fibres can only be forced open from the inside,and as the Moth emerges the fibres spring back and close.also the outer case of the Cocoon is very tough, made from lots of Silk spun by the Caterpillar in readiness for Pupation.But even with all the above protection, this Small Parasitic Wasp manages to breach those defences.From this Emperor Cocoon 25 of these Wasps Emerged from this tiny hole !

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