While browsing reddit the other day, I came across a most peculiar finding. One of the users, Decapod73 or Tony Alexander in real life, posted photos he took while on an expedition in the Peruvian Amazon forest of intricate structures that bear an uncanny resemblance to a white picket circular fence – right in the center, half of a cocoon lays proud and mighty. The architect of this intricate and … rather creepy structure is most likely an insect of some kind, the exact species responsible for it however has yet to be identified despite the best efforts of biologists from renowned universities all over the world.
Alexander, a graduate student at Georgia Tech, stumbled onto the fascinating structure attached to tree trunks, including a blue tarp that appeared to have been built by a spider or insect. Initially, he thought this was the work of an ermine moth caterpillar that had started making a cocoon but then got distracted.Eventually, more of these ‘things’ starting popping out and it soon became clear than this was no accident. The repeating pattern found in separate instances proved this.
His thread on reddit has garnered a slew of responses and attention, eventually from renowned entomologists from across the world. To their best knowledge, they failed to identify an insect with a similar behavior or structural pattern. In all likelihood, this is a whole new species, considering estimates have millions of animal and plant species still to be discovered in the world.