This creature was found on a bed. At first, I thought it was a piece of lint, but then it suddenly moved. I picked it up in a paper towel and put it in an eye cream containers, which it is currently in. I believe this means that it is pretty strong, since it appeared to have pulled itself all the way up from the floor, to the top of the bed, then across to the other side of a King-sized mattress.

It appears to be a worm wrapped in a cocoon. It is pretty short, being small enough to fit inside an eye cream container.

The creature is a pale yellow-white/cream, with brownish-red tips on each end (unless it can somehow turn around without exiting its casing). It looks from the side as if it has a rather flat face, one that comes to a slight bump at the bottom, but is pretty much flat. The casing is light grey, with some small portions that appear to be almost the same color as the organism, just slightly darker. There is an opening at each end of the casing, which the organism uses to slide slightly out. It has never fully come out of the casing. The edges of the openings at each end are white. The casing seems to either be made out of or covered in dust.

It can create a substance that is sticky and strong enough to support its weight. I cannot tell if the substance is created by the 'worm', or the 'cocoon'. A thread at each end of the casing is connected to the side of the container by the substance. When I accidentally detached one end of the casing, the entire thing began to shake violently when held so that one end was hanging. It wouldn't stop until I had turned it so that both ends were touching the side of the container. Within minutes, though, it had reattached the broken end. Minutes. Not hours, but one minute.

The holes at each end of the cocoon can either grow or shrink closed. I believe this allows us to tell which opening is in use. If it is nearly shut, it will come out the other end.

It appears to be nocturnal, since it doesn't move during the day, but it is very active at night. It also appears to react to light. If some is put on it, it will poke out to look around.

It has survived for four days straight without food, as far as we know. We put a small piece of lettuce in with it. However, there are two small, brownish things on the bottom of the container. This may be its excrement.

The creature moves by reaching out with its 'tentacle/worm', grabbing onto something (including the ground), and pulling itself forward.

I cannot tell if the creature is attaching to the container's side to climb, or because it is morphing. If that is the case, then the outer shell may be a cocoon. It did detach itself from the side of the container, and first hid under a ledge of lettuce, but now has wrapped itself in lettuce.

To summarize: can someone please help me identify this creature?


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    $\begingroup$ Reminds me of a bagworm, but the bag looks different. Of course, if this was living indoors it wouldn't have the normal material to build a bag with. $\endgroup$
    – user137
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology S.E.! If you have additional questions, please visit The Help Center. I think this is a very interesting question and I look forward to seeing it get answered! $\endgroup$
    – L.B.
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ It is almost certainly a bagworm, I also have an outstanding question about them in biology.stackexchange.com/questions/27961/…. I don't have a picture of a de-leafed cocoon, but I remember the de-leafed cocoon looking very much like your photo. $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 18:07
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think the picture is good enought for a species determination. However, also consider case moths (Coleophoridae), which have larvae that carry around a larval case for protection (similarly to bagworms). A key factor is whether the casing you see is the pupa used for metamorphosis or the case that larvae in some families carries around as protection. Also see this BioSE question. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like an Indian mealmoth to me. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


I think it's just a case bearing moth larva (Tinea pellionella).

Source: http://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/

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    $\begingroup$ As you might already know the source of an image must be added if it is borrowed from a different person/site. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 12:30

That, I believe to be the larvae of an Indian Mealmoth Plodia interpunctella, but it could also be Tineola bisselliella or Tinea pellionella. It's definitely emerging from a pupa, and it's definitely a moth larva, but I'd need more information for an accurate identification.

To Google images

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    $\begingroup$ It doesn't have to be a pupa - consider that larvae of some moth families carry around a larval case (e.g. case moths (Coleophoridae)). $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 23:54

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