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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery bugs, possibly Leaf Tiers?


Intact cocoon
Intact cocoon  

Worm itself
Worm itself  
When i was cleaning out my tadpole raising tank I came across two moving bits of leaves. Weirdly enough they were not on the terrestrial part of the tank (though i suspect they started off there since i keep leafs and such there) but in the water. One was making it's way down the side of the tank under water, the other was perched on top of a terracotta island in the middle of the water. Upon closer inspection i found a worm inside each leaf actually pulling it along behind them. The leaf structures seem to be two very small bits of leaf that have been cut and sealed together to form a cacoon. The size is probably a little more than a centimeter.

My location is central FL and i collected the leaves from the same marsh area i collected the tadpoles. They had to be living on the water since all the foliage there is partially submerged.


Pretty sure you have an aquatic caterpillar there, perhaps of this moth:

Apparently that species can be quite a pest in ponds.

There are other species of aquatic moth larvae, but I am not a specialist on aquatic insects, I'm sorry.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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