What Is the Difference Between a Pupa and a Cocoon?

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A cocoon is a pupa with silk around the outside of it, while the naked pupal stage is known as the chrysalis. Discover how moths typically produce a cocoon and butterflies produce a chrysalis with information from an entomologist and insect specialist in this free video on cocoons.

Part of the Video Series: Insect Information
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn. I've been an entomologist for twenty years, and we're here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center, in Austin, Texas. I've been asked to explain the difference between a pupa and a cocoon. A cocoon is a pupa with silk around the outside of it. The naked pupal stage, as it were, is known as a chrysalis, and so moths typically produce a cocoon and butterflies produce a chrysalis. Both the chrysalis and the pupa are, both the chrysalis and the cocoon are pupa, and moths can also produce a naked chrysalis, as well. And so, those are the differences between a pupa and a cocoon.

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