Dear Bug man,
Hello my name is Justin Holohan. I teach 2nd grade at West Amwell School. One of my students brought in this cocoon thing as asked me what it is. I TEACH MATH AND READING NOT INSECTS!!! So hopefully you can help! They found it on their house and it looks as if something has nested inside the branch. (It looks like a juniper branch) I also saw something very similar in central Jersey. But they were attached to a pine tree. We live in the wooded area outside of the city of Lambertville. Which is just 20 minutes north of Trenton NJ. Thanks for any help you can provide!!
West Amwell School
In the interest of education, we are pleased to help. This is a Bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis. This is a moth. The caterpillars form the bags as a camoflauge and protection and never leave the bags, dragging them along as they eat. They are fond of juniper, arborvitae, other conifers and some deciduous trees. The caterpillars also pupate in the bags. You have a pupa. The bags are sometimes found in such numbers they appear on branches all over the trees. The pupa are often found on the siding of homes. The female moth is flightless, wingless and legless but manages to leave the bag when she emerges. Males will mate with her and she crawls back into the bag to lay her eggs. We have an entire page devoted to this insect and you can show your student the response by visiting our site where it is prominently featured on the homepage.