Over the past few months, I have watched as more and more of these little hangy-things have grown in number on one of my plant containers in the backyard. They're different from the hangy-things in the laundry room, which are smoother and thinner, and probably belong to a case-bearing moth. No, these are spikier and more grassy. So a trip to the library and a bit of searching, and I think I have cracked the case, pun intended (thanks to Jamieson & Denny's Hawaii's Butterflies and Moths)!
It's the home of the caterpillar of the bagworm moth, Brachycyttarus griseus in the family Psychidae. First reported in Oahu in 1984, the species is well established in South East Asia. The male moth is about one and a half centimeters in length, not so big, and the female is wingless. She's got it in the bag....living her entire life there, never to leave. The male impregnates her while she's in her protective casing and then she releases her eggs to the ground. Upon hatching, the little caterpillars eat grass, such as Paspalurn conjugaturn and Zoysia pungens, and immediately get to work constructing their casings. They drag them behind as they feed, and enlarge them with bit of grass and webbing as they go. Once they are about one centimeter in length, the larvae climb up to a spot, say, on a plant pot, the eave of a roof, or a garden shed, and attach themselves to pupate. Only the males will leave the casing, when they go in search of a mate. They are said to be pretty harmless, though I did find a website that said they were pests of basil and lemongrass. So, now the caterpillar is out of the bag.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.