It has since cocooned I think but it was a weird circumstance. I kept adding leaves for it to eat, and it decided it was done, and cocooned under a wilted leaf. I'm wondering if anyone can ID the species, and the following: I think it is a real cocoon, as there is no dead or rot smell.
But the cocoon was under the wilted leaf, and is now quite firmly attached. In the pics below, I've turned the leaf and cocoon over. Does the cocoon know "up"? And does it know it before or after making the cocoon? If it was stuck on its "up and out" direction, can turing it over be harmful? I.e. I turned it over so now it's trying to emerge towards the ground, can it figure out how to find 'up'?
Locale: Southwestern United States Found in: found it in a moist garden bed (tomatoes, radishes, peppermint, basil) eating radish leaves Description: About 2 inches long, 1/2 inch long hairy, black/grey hairs, body is black/grey with yellow striped markings
Cocooning position: wilted leaf / \, stick |, cocoon (), ...
Summary: It made the cocoon with the leaf on top of it, and it would never make it out in that case, so I turned it over. Is that okay? Can we still see the winged form come out? Like I said, it doesn't smell dead... in fact smells better than when the caterpillar was pooping everywhere.
Aside, this is the only tag I could find that might fit. Please feel free to edit tags to get this answered. TY