Can anyone tell me what kind of insect (if it is one) is this...!! Or is it the pupa of some insect?

enter image description here

Well I don't think that the whole big thing is the insect itself, it appears to be just a kind of protection or shelter which moves along with the tiny little thing that keeps on popping out and going it so as to move.

Location: India


2 Answers 2


This is mostly a guess and loose suggestion, since the picture is not very clear (would need to see the larvae in more detail). However, Bagworm moths (Psychidae), Case moths (Coleophoridae) and Caddisfly larvae (Trichoptera, almost exclusively aquatic) all build similar cases. They construct their cases out if silk and often include debris, pebbles and other materials. I wouldn't be surprised if the larvae in your picture belongs to one of the first two taxa. Bagworm moths and Caddisflies generally include lots of external materials in their larval cases, which could point to Case moths for your specimen (which seems to have a weaker case mostly made of silk).

Here are two pictures of first a UK Case moth larvae (Coleophora deauratella) followed by a Bagworm moth (Dahlica triquetrella), just as comparisons. If you do google image searches of "group name + larvae" you will see many examples of what they can look like. enter image description here enter image description here

And just as a cool example - the larvae often use random material lying around to build their cases, which can give the following result, if caddisfly larvae are bred in a tank containing pieces if gold and pearls. For further information see this link.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I'll just comment that caddisfly larvae are aquatic and will typically only be found in clean streams, ponds, or lakes. The two moth families you mention are much more likely based on the terrestrial location of the OP's insect. I wouldn't remove your info about the caddisflies as it can be useful/interesting to others coming across this question, but the aquatic/terrestrial differences in these insects' ecologies definitively rules out caddisflies. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist I agree, which is also why I mention in the answer that Trichoptera are almost exclusively aquatic. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater Oops I missed that. Well just giving further acknowledgment to that fact then :). $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 19:58

It's a household casebearer, a kind of moth larva in the family Tineidae that builds this case around itself.

@fileunderwater is wrong

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Can you substantiate your answer as why you thing so, ideally with citation and picture reference? Household casebearer as I'm aware of have dirt or grain covered case, when not covered in dirt, they are close to white and not grey. This species is not only grey but also has a smooth surface = no grains. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 14:16
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    $\begingroup$ Could be, and, as I said in my answer, the ones I mention are loose suggestions, based on the rather poor picture. Could you maybe specify what makes you so sure that it is a Tineidae? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 20:04

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