Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Moths and Metamorphosis
Name:  Susan
Status:  other
Age:  30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001

I found a caterpillar about a year ago. It immediately spun a cocoon.

It spent the summer, fall and winter outside. This May I took it inside and have been watching it. I identified it as an American Dagger Moth caterpillar. My question is this: When will it emerge? Is it possible that it is still alive?

I am not familiar with that species or its life cycle, but it seems unlikely that a cocoon spun in spring or early summer would emerge as long as a year later - most moths that form cocoons early in the year will mature to adults before winter; those that form cocoons late in the growing season overwinter in that stage.

J. Elliott

Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory