Spotted 3 of theses on one 2x2 in my veggie garden. I didn't notice them until recently so the insect may have left long ago.

I'm in Seattle Washington.

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I'm leaning towards some sort of caterpillar, possibly a puss moth. The puss moth is found widespread across Europe, and parts of Asia, and Africa. There is a North American puss moth but it is a different species and is found in southern east coast states. I know the user lives in Seattle Washington which isn't mentioned as part of the puss moth range but the photos seem to match. Maybe there is a west coast species I haven't found reference to.

The puss moth caterpillar spins a silk cocoon and scrapes away the bark of the tree to incorporate the bark into its cocoon. This makes a very hard, camouflaged cocoon that the caterpillar overwinters in, emerging as a moth in spring.

Sorry I can't seem to hyperlink from my phone but below are a few references/photos.

silk moth cocoon and wood damage http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/servlet/JiveServlet/download/8270-2906/cocoon%202.jpg




This is interesting! I think it is wood pecker damage. Can't understand WHY???

Wood Pecker damage

  • Nope they are little ”houses” that were stuck onto the wood. What ever grew inside eat the wood then broke out. The image that shows the trough is the same ”home” as the image with my finger. I chipped it way to show the damaged wood. – Ben Aug 11 '17 at 23:15
  • Houses? Such as bird house or mason bee house glued to the wood? I am slow this afternoon. – stormy Aug 11 '17 at 23:21
  • OP means the oval, shell-like structure sitting on the wood. The slit is where the former inhabitant left, the last picture has the "shell" chipped off and shows a dent in the wood where the mystery creature gnawed a hole. Must be some kind of coccoon..? – Stephie Aug 12 '17 at 4:56
  • 1
    It looks like some larvae of wood wasp could have caused it. Check some photos of the wasp holes here. – benn Aug 12 '17 at 6:47

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