Subject:  What’s inside this chrysalis?
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix, AZ, Geranium Plant
Date: 02/06/2018
Time: 01:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just curious what is inside this little guy.. moves when it’s touched. Maybe a butterfly or moth? About an inch and a half long. If it is harmless, how can I protect it?
How you want your letter signed:  Keri

Moth Pupa

Dear Keri,
We are confident that this is a Moth Pupa, but beyond that, we doubt that we can provide a more specific identification.  It might be a member of the superfamily Noctuoidea, a group with many members that pupate underground without spinning a cocoon.  We did locate this image of a caterpillar from the Owlet moth family eating the leaf of a geranium in nearby California on BugGuide, and it is possibly your individual is closely related.  Knowing the food plant is often a tremendous assistance when identifying insects.

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

One Response to Moth Pupa

  1. AlexW says:

    Habitually-subterranean moth pupae can be placed in a large cup with a shallow layer of damp (not wet) paper to raise them, since I imagine that reburying the thing may not do it any good.

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