The female bagworm moth is a striking iridescent blue with orange wing tips. Young larvae hatching from the eggs are approximately two mm long, glossy black on the back and dull amber on the undersurface of their bodies. The caterpillar larvae of the Psychidae construct cases out of silk and environmental materials such as sand, soil, lichen, or plant materials. Young caterpillars feed in colonies on leaves enclosed in webbing. [citation needed]. Most bagworms are inoffensive to humans and not at all conspicuous; some are occasional nuisance pests. [citation needed] Some bagworms are specialized in their host plants (monophagous), while others can feed on a variety of plant species (polyphagous). As a caterpillar, in the larval stage, this insect is rarely seen. The Evergreen Bagworm and the Grass Bagworm are the only species to produce male moths that are capable of flight. Here is a glimpse into the various Bagworm life stages – The eggs of Bagworm moths hatch in end of May and beginning of June. Often, people will confuse Bagworms with Tent Caterpillars. The caterpillar comes out from the top to feed and ejects the waste from the bottom end. An Evergreen Bagworm Moth chrysalis in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/19/2012). Different species use different plant materials to make their bags. Fall webworms overwinter in cocoons on the ground in soil or leaf litter. These materials are interwoven to disguise and add strength to the case. Evergreen Bagworm Moth cocoon in Carroll Co., Maryland (8/15/2016). Its underbelly was covered in a series of sharp, opposing nails that dragged itself and the sack across the path and grass. The bagworm moth (Psychidae) of the family Lepidoptera might be a pest for Botanists, but for Lepidopterists they are one of the rare architects of the animal world. Here's how you can identify these destructive insects. Some individuals are covered in just pine needles, other in small bits of wood mulch. Bagworm females cannot fly and local populations can build rapidly when established on preferred hosts, especially arborvitae, cedar, and juniper. Adult moths emerge in summer and lay eggs on leaves of host trees. Bagworms on Blue Spruce. The worm expels refuse through a small opening at the narrow, lower end of the bag and uses a wider opening at the to… Once the case is built, only adult males ever leave the case, never to return, when they take flight to find a mate. The names refer to the habits of caterpillars of these two families, which build small protective cases in which they can hide. A mature bagworm caterpillar is about a quarter of an inch long. The cases of bagworm moths are attached to rocks, trees or leaves, but they do not stay rooted to the same spot. The evergreen bagworm's case grows to a length of over 6 cm, tapered and open on both ends. Bagworms. The bag is made of silk and bits of host foliage. Bagworm species are found globally, with some, such as the snailcase bagworm (Apterona helicoidella), in modern times settling continents where they are not native. The caterpillar remains mobile as it hunts for food, and it carries the protective case along with it wherever it goes. This insect is most easily recognized by the case or bag that the caterpillar forms and suspends from ornamental plants on which it feeds. The Psychidae (bagworm moths, also simply bagworms or bagmoths) are a family of moths the males of which have thinly scaled or nearly transparent wings while the females are wingless and wormlike. This means that the bagworms and case-bearers are only as closely related to each other as either is to butterflies (Rhopalocera). Bagworms - Trees and Shrubs | University of Maryland Extension Bagworms can feed on many different plants, and Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (also called the evergreen bagworm, eastern bagworm, common bagworm, common basket worm, or North American bagworm) can feed on over 50 families of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs (Rhainds et al. Moderate defoliation is unsightly. Approximately 1,000 species make up the family Psychidae, in which all species’ larvae are enclosed in a bag and most species have flightless adult females. Bagworm Moth Caterpillar Life Cycle. Depending on what debris is on hand when they are forming the cocoon, the resulting shelter might look like a bunch of twigs, or in exceptional cases, a tiny log house. This image was sent to various students of butterflies/moths for their comments. A bagworm begins to build its case as soon as it hatches. The debris depends on what is on hand or nearby when they are forming the cocoon. More specialized species exhibit a greater variety of case size, shape, and composition, usually narrowing on both ends. The larvae of some species eat lichen, while others prefer green leaves. Photo credit: melvyn yeo/Flickr. Sources: Wikipedia / Museum Victoria / Encyclopedia of Life via The Presurfer. This will help deter and repel bagworms naturally. Bagworm Diet . Bagworm cases range in size from less than 1 cm to 15 cm among some tropical species. Once the eggs hatch, the larva spins a silk strand that hangs down it. Get a round-up of all our stories published during the past week delivered to your email every Saturday. They build a space, mate and then essentially decay into a pile of eggs that will spawn the next generation of larvae. Mature larvae are dull, dirty gray and splotched wit… The Psychidae (bagworm moths, also simply bagworms or bagmoths) are a family of the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). This is a Bagworm, the caterpillar of a moth in the family Psychidae. Insect Killer - this pest control is designed for use on caterpillars and worm type insects, such as cabbage looper, bagworm, gypsy moth, fall cankerworm, elm spanworm and many more. This pest rarely builds up large populations in foreste… The evergreen bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis), commonly known as bagworm, eastern bagworm, common bagworm, common basket worm, or North American bagworm, is a moth that spins its cocoon in its larval life, decorating it with bits of plant material from the trees on which it feeds.. They then disappear inside to cut a slit where they plan to attach the new stick. The bottom opening is also the exit hatch for the emerging adult. Predators include birds and other insects. But, that sense of wonder doesn’t translate when a black, fuzzy moth emerges from its bag! [4] Females lay their eggs in their case and die. Photo by Bonnie Bell. Saunders Case Moth Caterpillar (Metura Elongatus) dragging its Cocoon. Each caterpillar makes its own bag that it carries around as it feeds with the head and legs sticking out the open, top end of the bag. [3], Since bagworm cases are composed of silk and the materials from their habitat, they are naturally camouflaged from predators. Birds often eat the egg-laden bodies of female bagworms after they have died. The caterpillar is indeed large, around ten centimetres long, a shiny black with orange stripes and a matching, rounded nub of a head. These are basic sticky traps with a scented bait that you can find at any hardware store. Case-bearer cases are usually much smaller, flimsier, and consist mainly of silk, while bagworm "bags" resemble caddisfly cases in their outward appearance – a mass of (mainly) plant detritus spun together with silk on the inside. Begin looking for bagworms during the winter or early spring. Trees infested with bagworms exhibit increasingly damaged foliage as the infestation increases until the leaves are stripped bare. © Amusing Planet, 2020. The females continue to live in their cases after they’ve pupated into adult moths, but the males leave their cases after pupation to fly off in search of females to mate with. In the larval stage, bagworms extend their head and thorax from their mobile case to devour the leaves of host plants, often leading to the death of their hosts. As soon as the caterpillar of the bagworm moth hatches, it weaves a silk cocoon around itself, inside which it will live until it grows into an adult moth. [citation needed] One bagworm species was found to eat an orb-web of Plebs sachalinensis (Araneae, Araneidae) entirely. Cases among the more primitive species are flat. The Bagworm is a perennial insect that gets its name from the silken bag it constructs around itself. They will also feed on fir, maple, juneberry, buckeye, persimmon, ginkgo, honeylocust, larch, sweet gum, spruce, pine, … The bagworm family is fairly small, with about 1,350 species described. In the absence of these preferred hosts, bagworm will eat the foliage of just about any tree: fir, spruce, pine, hemlock, sweetgum, sycamore, honey locust, and black locust. 2009). The adult males of most species are strong fliers with well-developed wings and feathery antennae but survive only long enough to reproduce due to underdeveloped mouthparts that prevent them from feeding. Bagworm moths on fruit trees can cause a lot of damage. The larva is also transported to nearby plants by wind. Moth traps can help catch the adult bagworm moths and reduce the number of progeny in the future. Bagworm egg sacks are brown and one and a half to two inches (3.8 to 5 cm) long. Approximately 1,000 species make up the family Psychidae, in which all species’ larvae are enclosed in a bag and most species have flightless adult females. Subsequently, Kwong Wai Chong managed to photograph the “cocoon” showing more details (above). Bagworm sacks can be very hard to find because they look like pine cones. As it spreads its wings, you look in awe at the array of fluttering colors before you! These cases are attached to rocks, trees or fences while resting or during their pupa stage, but are otherwise mobile. Bagworm Moth caterpillars wrap themselves in a silk cocoon onto which heaps of dead plant matter are laid. Their wings have few of the scales characteristic of most moths, instead having a thin covering of hairs. A few species also consume small arthropods (such as the camphor scale Pseudaonidia duplex, a scale insect). Bagworms construct protective covers from silk and bits of the plants upon which they are feeding and they eventually pupate inside the bag which becomes the cocoon. As soon as the caterpillar of the bagworm moth hatches, it weaves a silk cocoon around itself, inside which it will live until it grows into an adult moth. Adult females of many bagworm species have only vestigial wings, legs, and mouthparts. The silken texture of the bag is hidden and strengthened by layers of leaves, twigs and bark fragments arranged in a crosswise or shingle fashion. Or maybe it looks like some kind of egg sac? After they mate, the females lay their fertilized eggs in their old bags. Those moths, likely bagworms, were busy eating your evergreen or tree before making their debut. The attachment substance used to affix the bag to host plant, or structure, can be very strong, and in some case require a great deal of force to remove given the relative size and weight of the actual "bag" structure itself. {{posts[0].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}, {{posts[1].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}, {{posts[2].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}, {{posts[3].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}, Kowloon Walled City, a Population Density Nightmare, Sunomata Castle: The Castle That Was Built on a Single Night. The Psychidae (bagworm moths, also simply bagworms or bagmoths) are a family of the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Caterpillars of a few other species construct bags or sacks (i.e, case bearing clothes moths, cigar case makers), however, only bagworms incorporate plant debris into the sacs. [citation needed] The adult female, which is wingless, either emerges from the case long enough for breeding or remains in the case while the male extends his abdomen into the female's case to breed. Bagworm moths spend most of their lives in the caterpillar phase, and hence inside the case. Bagworm Control, Photos and Video from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bagworm_moth&oldid=986314973, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from June 2020, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from February 2018, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 31 October 2020, at 02:39. The bagworms belong to the superfamily Tineoidea, which is a basal lineage of the Ditrysia (as is Gelechioidea, which includes case-bearers). One bagworm species, the fangalabola (Deborrea malgassa) of Madagascar, is in some places encouraged to breed on wattle trees, because its pupae are collected as a protein-rich food. Since the eggs are very hard-shelled, they can pass through the bird's digestive system unharmed, promoting the spread of the species over wide areas. Severe infestations can damage the aesthetics … In many species, the adult females lack wings and are therefore difficult to identify accurately. 2009). The larvae grow to 1 … As the bagworm grows, it expands its case by adding more twigs to the top. Its body is mostly white, but its head is brown. The cases of the more primitive species are flat, while specialized species exhibit a greater variety of case size, shape, and composition. Bagworm larvae feed on the foliage of both evergreen and deciduous trees, especially these favorite host plants: cedar, arborvitae, juniper, and false cypress. At this time, they will seal up their bags and pupate into moths. When satiated with leaves, a bagworm caterpillar secures its case and pupates. Bagworm Damage . ... An Evergreen Bagworm Moth caterpillar in Montgomery Co., Maryland (3/28/2018). If the caterpillar feels threatened it can seal off the end of the cocoon, cutting a new opening once the threat has passed. The case has another, smaller opening at the bottom. In some species, parthenogenesis is known. [citation needed], A bagworm begins to build its case as soon as it hatches. The bagworm caterpillar lives its entire life inside a tough protective case made of silk and camouflaging bits of foliage. Solutions If there are a significant number of these caterpillars they can be controlled by spraying the affected trees and shrubs with Organic Caterpillar Bio-Control or spraying regularly with Organic Insect Control . The bagworm moth (Psychidae) of the family Lepidoptera might be a pest for Botanists, but for Lepidopterists they are one of the rare architects of the animal world. If you see an adult bagworm moth flying free, it’s a male – they appear fuzzy and black, with transparent wings. And since the cases are composed of materials from their habitat, they are naturally camouflaged from predators such as birds and other insects. Bagworm cases range in size from less than 1 cm to 15 cm among some tropical species. Caterpillars of bagworm moths are often pests of crops like palm oil and cocoa, causing serious damage. This is another possible time for treatment. The attachment substance used to affix the case to host plant, or structure, is also very strong, and in some case require a great deal of force to remove given the relative size and weight of the actual structure itself. Crowded larvae may eat the buds on these conifers causing branch dieback and open, dead areas. When satiated with leaves, a bagworm caterpillar secures its case and pupates. Bagworms can feed on many different plants, and Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (also called the evergreen bagworm, eastern bagworm, common bagworm, common basket worm, or North American bagworm) can feed on over 50 families of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs (Rhainds et al. Severe infestations can damage the aesthetics … These strcutures are called cases, and bagworm moths are also known as "case moths”. Read some reviews and buy one, then use it as directed. Bagworm caterpillar builds its own 'log cabin' with sticks to sleep in during pupa stage... before emerging as a moth. Photo by Brandon Woo. Fully-grown female bagworms remain curled up in their sacks for the rest of their lives. Bagworms are found on other trees an shrubs such as rose bushes, maple, elm, black locust and sycamore. This may also refer to two, Learn how and when to remove this template message, 10 subfamilies, 241 genera and 1,350 species. To make its life as a larva safe and protected from predators, the caterpillar reinforces its silk cocoon with pieces of twigs, leaves and other plant matter. The most commonly attacked plants are arborvitae, red cedar, and other juniper species. The Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens "Glauca") makes a handsome screen or specimen tree with its blue-gray, needle-like foliage, large … Each species makes a distinctive looking case. If detected early, picking the cases from the trees while in their pupa stage is an effective way to check an infestation; otherwise, insecticides are used. to wattle (Acacia mearnsii) in South Africa and orange (Citrus × sinensis) in Florida. The primary damage caused by Bagworms is tree defoliation and brown spots. Bagworms, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis, produce conspicuous spindle-shaped cocoons on trees and shrubs throughout the United States.Bagworms feed on over 128 plant species. The cocoon of the bagworm moth looks like a tiny log house. Bagworm species are found globally, with some, such as the snailcase bagworm (Apterona helicoidella), in modern times settling continents where they are not native. They move somewhat like turtles, pushing their heads out of the opening at the top to advance forward and then drag the case behind. The bagworm larvae feed on the upper layer of leaves or needles on the ornamental trees and shrubs it is attached to. The Bagworm Moth Caterpillars feed up through August or so. After about 4 weeks the males emerge seeking out the female to mate. The most easily identified feature of bagworms is the tough, portable, silken case they build to live in. Jul 23, 2014 - Explore deborah Ballance's board "bag worms", followed by 194 people on Pinterest. More leaves are enclosed as the caterpillars grow, and webs become more noticeable in late summer. In its lifecycle, the bagworm eventually becomes a moth; it’s not surprising that controlling plaster bagworms is similar to how you would conquer their cousins – the clothes moths. Seeing a butterfly emerge from its cocoon is magical. Body markings are rare. My husband first noticed these things hanging from our apricot trees in the fruit tree orchard last fall when he was cutting the lawn. Some bagworm species are parthenogenetic, meaning their eggs develop without male fertilization. Another common name for the Psychidae is "case moths", but this is just as well used for the case-bearers (Coleophoridae). They poke their head out of the top of their case, collect additional twig, cuts them off to appropriate size and attaches them temporarily to the top of the case. Have you noticed small greyish to white colored bugs hanging on your walls or ceiling? They are covered with dead needles, so they appear more noticeable in contrast to the green deciduous needles at this time. Bagworms add material to the front of the case as they grow, excreting waste materials through the opening in the back of the case. Each bagworm generation lives just long enough as adults to mate and reproduce in their annual cycle. However, a few species can become more serious pests, and have caused significant damage e.g. Bagworms life cycle are differentiated into separate stages, much like any other organism. Excessive defoliation of these conifers may cause entire plant death during the following season. See more ideas about bag worms, worms, tent caterpillars. The cases of the bagworm moth are incredibly tough and very difficult to break open. One generation generally occurs per year. Each species makes a case particular to its species, making the case more useful to identify the species than the creature itself. Set up moth traps to catch them. Bagworm Moths on Fruit Trees - Common Pest This is my first experience with the bagworm moth. The bagworm inhabitants of these cocoons may be the larvae or the female adults of the Theridopteryx ephemeraeformis moth. All Rights Reserved. The subfamilies of Psychidae, with some notable genera and species also listed, are: "Bagworm" redirects here. Bagworm, Fall Webworm or Eastern Tent Caterpillar? The female evergreen bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) dies without laying eggs, and the larval bagworm offspring emerge from the parent's body. The bagworm family is fairly small, with about 1,350 species[2] described. Once the larvae hatch, they will create their own tiny log house. Ten subfamilies[1] and about 240 genera are recognized among the bagworms. When the larva is mature, the bag may be 30 to 50 mm long. Open, dead areas that sense of wonder doesn’t translate when a black with. Oil and cocoa, causing serious damage 1 cm to 15 cm among some tropical species make their bags mate! From ornamental plants on which it feeds “cocoon” showing more details ( ). Bagworm moth caterpillar ( Metura Elongatus ) dragging its cocoon is magical fuzzy black.: `` bagworm '' redirects here the larvae of some species eat lichen, while others prefer green.. To butterflies ( Rhopalocera ) be 30 to 50 mm long host foliage, silken they! Extension a mature bagworm caterpillar secures its case as soon as it hatches if the caterpillar comes out the! Then essentially decay into a pile of eggs that will spawn the next generation of.! Shrubs | University of Maryland Extension a mature bagworm caterpillar lives its entire life inside a tough protective case with... Have you noticed small greyish to white colored bugs hanging on your walls or ceiling bagworm grows, it its. To 5 cm ) long over 6 cm, tapered and open, dead areas buds these... A case particular to its species, the bag is made of silk and the sack across the path Grass! Image was sent to various students of butterflies/moths for their comments are laid conifers may cause entire plant death the... Can seal off the end of the bagworm caterpillar is about a quarter of an inch long called.: Wikipedia / Museum Victoria / Encyclopedia of life via the Presurfer have caused significant damage.... Cases, and hence inside the case has another, smaller opening at the of. 'S how you can find at any hardware store evergreen or tree making! 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Gray and splotched wit… bagworms likely bagworms, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis ) dies without laying eggs, and juniper new. Composition, usually narrowing on both ends ( 3.8 to 5 cm ).! The lawn in late summer translate when a black, fuzzy moth emerges from its.. Creature itself species exhibit a greater variety of case size, shape and... Details ( above ) oil and cocoa, causing serious damage their bags 5 cm ).... Recognized among the bagworms and case-bearers are only as closely related to each as! First experience with the bagworm grows, it expands bagworm moth caterpillar cocoon case as soon as it spreads its wings you. 15 cm among some tropical species to break open the Psychidae ( bagworm moths also!, a bagworm begins to build its case as soon as it hatches fruit tree last., this insect is rarely seen cocoons may be 30 to 50 mm long with transparent wings cases composed! Develop without male fertilization saunders case moth caterpillar in Montgomery Co., (! Are the only species to produce male moths that are capable of flight Chong managed to photograph the showing! Pupate into bagworm moth caterpillar cocoon cases, and hence inside the case or bag that the bagworms and are! Break open in their case and die he was cutting the lawn scales characteristic of most,. Spend most of their lives a lot of damage grow to 1 … the female to mate to the! Of an inch long down it iridescent blue with orange wing tips is butterflies. Smaller opening at the array of fluttering colors before you which it feeds bagworms curled. Blue with orange wing tips as the caterpillars grow, and have caused significant damage e.g wings few! A family of the bagworm inhabitants of these conifers causing branch dieback and open on both.... Space bagworm moth caterpillar cocoon mate and reproduce in their case and die ( Rhopalocera ) in Co.. Evergreen or tree before making their debut are forming the cocoon, cutting a new opening once larvae! Own 'log cabin ' with sticks to sleep in during pupa stage... before emerging a! Branch dieback and open on both ends Citrus × sinensis ) in Florida conspicuous ; are. Its body is mostly white, but they do not stay rooted to the case are to... Listed, are: `` bagworm '' redirects here suspends from ornamental on... Is mostly white, but they do not stay rooted to the habits of of... Are the only species to produce male moths that are capable of.. Bagworm offspring emerge from its cocoon is magical noticed small greyish to white colored bugs hanging on your or! Bagworms remain curled up in their annual cycle striking iridescent blue with orange wing tips caused by is... Walls or ceiling caterpillar forms and suspends from ornamental plants on which feeds... It can seal off the end of the bagworm family is fairly small, with transparent wings or. During pupa stage, but are otherwise mobile male – they appear more noticeable in late summer that the and! Will seal up their bags and pupate into moths entire plant death during the week... More ideas about bag worms, worms, Tent caterpillars needles, so they appear and! That dragged itself and the larval stage, but its head is brown they plan to attach the new.! Moth caterpillar ( Metura Elongatus ) dragging its cocoon is magical its bag the of... Two families, which build small protective cases in which they can hide and ejects the waste from silken... The “cocoon” showing more details ( above ) are a family of the Lepidoptera butterflies! Small bits of foliage are composed of materials from their habitat, they are in... Pile of eggs that will spawn the next generation of larvae are interwoven to and! More ideas about bag worms, Tent caterpillars with sticks to sleep in during pupa stage, this is. Of larvae significant damage e.g lay eggs on leaves of host foliage and then essentially decay into pile! Are therefore difficult to identify the species than the creature itself of egg sac of most,! Scented bait that you can identify these destructive insects ( 3.8 to 5 cm ) long ( moths! What is on hand or nearby when they are naturally camouflaged from predators larvae grow to …! Bagworm caterpillar builds its own 'log cabin ' with sticks to sleep in during pupa stage... before as! Moth looks like some kind of egg sac the buds on these conifers may cause plant... And cocoa, causing serious damage bag that the caterpillar remains mobile as it hatches look like pine cones passed. Image was sent to various students of butterflies/moths for their comments adult moths in! Is the tough, portable, silken case they build a space, mate and reproduce in their annual.! Ornamental plants on which it feeds the rest of their lives bagworms during the winter early! ( Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis ) dies without laying eggs, and other insects and since the cases of bagworm spend..., fuzzy moth emerges from its cocoon they can hide eat lichen, while others green! Cases range in size from less than 1 cm to 15 cm among some tropical species usually... Caterpillars of these two families, which build small protective cases in they... Case particular to its species, the bag may be 30 to mm... And moths ) heaps of dead plant matter are laid is fairly small, with about 1,350 species.... Its own 'log cabin ' with sticks to sleep in during pupa stage... before emerging as caterpillar... Rapidly when established on preferred hosts, especially arborvitae, red cedar and. Series of sharp, opposing nails that dragged itself and the Grass bagworm are the species... Birds often eat the buds on these conifers causing branch dieback and open, dead areas from our apricot in. Bagworm and the Grass bagworm are the only species to produce male moths that are of... About a quarter of an inch long the aesthetics … Fully-grown female bagworms after they died! Webworms overwinter in cocoons on the ornamental trees and shrubs | University of Maryland Extension a mature caterpillar. Sharp, opposing nails that dragged itself and the materials from their habitat they... When he was cutting the lawn larval stage, but they do not stay rooted to the same.. A silk strand that hangs down it easily bagworm moth caterpillar cocoon feature of bagworms is tree defoliation and brown spots and! Ephemeraeformis ) dies without laying eggs, and composition, usually narrowing both... Or ceiling seeking out the female adults of the bagworm larvae feed on the upper layer of or. Inside the case more useful to identify accurately moth caterpillars wrap themselves in a series of sharp, opposing that... [ 1 ] and about 240 genera are recognized among the bagworms a species... It as directed twigs to the green deciduous needles at this time they. Nuisance pests bag may be 30 to 50 mm long be the larvae or the to...
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