This photo is of a Polyphemus Moth Cocoon that I found on the forest floor while hiking. I see these often here in the Ouachita National Forest of Arkansas. I didn’t know what these were until I posted a photo of one on Facebook. Thanks to Bill Yox for educating me on what type of Moth creates these cocoons.
Polyphemus Moth lays flat, light-brown eggs on the leaves of a number of host plants. When the eggs hatch, small yellow caterpillars emerge. As the caterpillars age, they molt five times (the fifth being into a pupa).
They feed heavily on their host plant and can grow up to 3 to 4 inches long. They then spin cocoons of brown silk, usually wrapped in leaves of the host plant. (Wikipedia)