Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Nest identification


Egg like nest
Egg like nest  
What's inside?  A friend found this egg shaped structure attached to her kitchen window mixed in some vines. Its pinkish with a black dot, no visible opening. I am guessing it may be an insect nest? She wants to destroy it but I have asked her to wait..could not find anything like it. I even checked birds. Pembroke, Ontario,  Canada.  Thanks in advance. Photo attached.

Dear Sue - No worries here - this is an empty cocoon of a giant silk moth (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae); likely a polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus, see <http://tinyurl.com/pw99bzh> for an example. The black 'dot' is the exit hole made by a wasp in the family Ichneumonidae that had parasitized the pupa that had been in the cocoon.
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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