Aussie 'freaked out' over 'alien-looking' discovery hanging from side of house

The Gold Coast resident thought it was a clump of sticks on the back of the door until it started moving.

A bizarre, "alien-looking" creature that was found dangling from a Queensland resident's back door has prompted an outpouring of confusion over what the mysterious stick-like being actually is.

Posting to Reddit's Gold Coast thread, an Aussie user said they initially thought the strange "thing" was just a clump of sticks, or a piece of bark — but after a closer inspection realised it was in fact moving.

"Just seen this alien thing outside my back door, it moves so it’s alive," the user wrote. "Pen has been added for scale, Google came up with a dehydrated katydid and it looks nothing like that. Please help identify and should I burn my house down?

"I was freaked out when I saw its head. I thought it may attach but it moves very slowly."

A clump of sicks found on the back of a door was identified as a case moth. Source: Reddit.
The Queenslander thought the strange looking creature was just a pile of sticks, until it moved. Source: Reddit.

The post attracted almost a hundred responses from other Aussies hypothesising what the animal may be.

"Oh lord, I have one at my house too and I have been wondering what the actual f***k it was. Mine just looks like an innocent piece of bark until you see it move, it's horrific," a person wrote.

"It’s the thing outta Alien vs Predator," said another. "Time to move out," another said.

'Part caterpillar, part plant'

Eventually, the strange bug was identified as a case moth, which has been dubbed part "part caterpillar, part plant" due to the creature's ability to construct its own "mobile home".

In the picture, the outside of the animal's "case" is seen, which looks pretty much identical to a pile of twigs or a clump of bark. But buried on the inside, the insect can be found, where it'll spend most of its life tucked away.

The Saunders' case moth. Source: Australian Museum.
The Saunders' case moth. Source: Australian Museum.

"The caterpillars who make their own mobile home are often seen attached to fences and walls in urban settings," The Australian Museum said of the animal.

"Case moths, bag moths or bagworms are names given to a group of moths whose caterpillars make mobile homes from silk, usually attaching plant material, detritus or sand grains to the outside. The Saunders' case moth first attaches leaves then short twigs arranged lengthwise.

"Case moths spend most of their lives as caterpillars, the larval stage, which may last for up to 1 or 2 years in some species. Once constructed, the female caterpillars never leave their cases."

The case has two openings, a larger "mouth" through which the insect pokes out its head to feed and move, and a smaller hole at the opposite end where it excretes waste.

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