Australia is known for its rich and diverse wildlife, which always has surprises in store for the locals. Such an experience led Trojan Wabbit from Gold Coast, Queensland, to ask the Reddit community for help.
Australian discovers ‘extraterrestrial’ creature
Well, what is that? The Australian posted a photo of his “find” and wrote: “I just saw this alien thing near my back door, it’s moving so it’s alive. I added a pen for scale.” Accordingly, the unknown creature was quite small, so there didn’t seem to be much danger. In addition, it moves slowly.
It continues: “Google has settled on a dehydrated katydid – (a type of green grasshopper) – but it doesn’t look like it at all. Please help me identify or should I burn my house down?”
The response to the post was great, and in addition to tongue-in-cheek tips along the lines of “when the aliens come, it’s time to move out,” the insect was quickly identified correctly.
But the animal clearly comes from this planet
“Harmless moth larva in its silken cocoon, with rods for camouflage. It is a small caterpillar with a striped head and body. Harmless, leave her alone. It will go away on its own in a day or two,” said one commenter.
As the Australian Museum website explains, the fall moth is considered “part caterpillar, part plant” because it carries its own “mobile home” with it. In this respect, only this “housing” can be seen in the photo. The insect is safely inside.
Fall moths are at home in Australia
The Australian insects live mainly in their “shells”; female caterpillars never leave the shell. This has two separate openings: through the larger one at the top you stick your head out to eat. The smaller, opposite opening is used for excretion. Trojan writes that he saw his moth’s head and “freaked out.” The shock could well have been mutual.