Sep 5, 2013

Mystery Bug Builds Fence Around Eggs and Nobody Knows Why

mystery bug builds fence around egg tower (3)

 

Chemical ecologist Troy Alexander recently returned to the US after a 3-month volunteer position for the Macaw Project. The project was based out of the Tambopata Research Center (a joint research center/tourist lodge run by Rainforest Expeditions), one of the most remote Amazon Rainforest lodges in South America.

It was here that Troy discovered a strange structure on the trunk of a tree (and a subsequent one on a tarp). It appears to be some kind of egg tower surrounded by a protective barrier (2 cm in diameter) that eerily resembles a white picket fence.

What’s so fascinating is that nobody knows who is responsible! After going viral on Reddit, Wired, io9, Colossal and countless blogs (e.g., here and here), the mystery remains unsolved.

Entomologists, mycologists, University professors and museum directors have all seen the images but nobody has been able to provide definite confirmation of what created this. It’s possible that Troy has discovered a new species!

 

mystery bug builds fence around egg tower (6)

 

mystery bug builds fence around egg tower (1)

 

mystery bug builds fence around egg tower (2)

 

mystery bug builds fence around egg tower (5)

 

mystery bug builds fence around egg tower (4)

 

Sources

Photography by Troy Alexander
Rainforest Expeditions on Facebook
r/whatsthisbug: Seriously, who makes egg cases like this? Just under 2cm across, Southern Peruvian Amazon
Wired: WTF Is This Weird Web-Tower Thing? We Asked Around. No One Knows
io9: We have absolutely no clue what built this crazy-complex structure
Colossal: Unknown Artistic Insect Builds a White Picket Fence to Protect its Nest of Eggs
Tambopata Research Center

 

 

 

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