This tiny monstrosity (~2mm in length) was inside of some kind of "flat tent cocoon" on a pepper plant leaf in Washington state, USA.

Not sure what's going on here. Is it malformed or infected?


  • $\begingroup$ Could you please attach an image of the "cocoon", it should be helpful $\endgroup$ – Algae Jan 5 '20 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Algae I don't have the image, and now the "cocoon" is destroyed. It looked like a flat round bit of insect silk on the leaf, the insect was in the center under the silk, thus giving it slightly "tent" appearance. $\endgroup$ – Sergii Dymchenko Jan 5 '20 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ @SergiiDymchenko did the cocoon look like this or like this? $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist May 3 '20 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ Also, is that "fluffy" lookign stuff in the rear of the insect simply rolled-up "cocoon" or did it appear to be coming out of the insect's abdomen? Could you describe its texture? $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist May 3 '20 at 6:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It looks like Lepidoptera to me. It did not properly eclose from the cocoon and the wings did not unfold properly before hardening, which is the reason for the odd appearance, but I'm pretty sure I can see some of the anterior wing veins branching in the section facing us. $\endgroup$ – Mike Serfas Feb 19 at 3:07

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