Amazing to think it holds anything at all, Shelly. It looks like a bit of leaf mold on the forest floor.
I agree it is incredible. What better camouflage than to look like leaf liter or mold? I am curious to see what actually appears from this odd looking little casing. The cocoon is 3 inches long so it has to be one of the larger silk moths. Cecropia? Polyphemus? Promethea? Luna? I guess I have to be patient.
Looks a lot like the Cecropia cocoon we had sitting in our lab for months on end...it was eventually shuffled into a dusty corner and forgotten, presumed "dead"...until we arrived one morning to find a lovely, perfect adult moth waiting for us...what a treat!
I left this one on the front porch in a container all winter, and brought it inside about a week ago. I hope it is okay and brings forth a beautiful moth.