Caught and Coloured: Zoology Illustrations from Colonial Victoria




Case Moth

McCoy on the curious Case Moth, Prodromus

The extraordinary insects figured on this plate are amongst the most curious and striking of the "common objects" in Australia, meeting the eye everywhere, from the abundance of the conspicuous protecting sacks or cases which the larvae construct and carry about with them, hanging to the trees in all directions, fixed by the uppermost anterior end and swinging loose otherwise.

A young friend, walking with me in Richmond Park the first evening I arrived in the colony, collected a number of these cases from the trees and as they were too strong and tough to be opened, and were perfectly closed, it was taken for granted they were cocoons containing pupae only, when put in his pocket; and no more was thought of the matter until they created a commotion in the drawing-room soon after by crawling actively out over the head and dress of my inquisitive friend; none of the older residents in the room having ever seen the living larvae, or suspected their existence in the well-known cases-so vigilant and timid are the caterpillars in retreating at the approach of danger.

- Frederick McCoy


Case Moth
Case Moth, Metura elongatus, by Arthur Bartholomew.