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Bagworm Case

Family Psychidae

Description:

Bagworms are not really worms, but are caterpillars - they are the immature stage of a moth. They're called "bagworms" because they construct bags/cases that are covered with pieces of twigs and/or leaves. The caterpillars feed by sticking their heads out of the top of the bag and chewing on nearby leaves or lichens. They live in these bags until they pupate (also inside the bag). Males emerge a little earlier than females, leaving their bag and flying off in search of a mate. Females emerge eyeless, wingless, and legless! So, she remains in her bag, but emits a pheromone to alert males of her presence. Males locate the females and mate. Once mated, a female lays eggs and dies, leaving a bag full of eggs that will hatch the following spring. I peeked inside this case and it did not have a caterpillar in it, but I did see remnants of a pupal skin. I decided that it was best left undisturbed though in case there were eggs inside.

Habitat:

On a sheltered, lichen-covered rock in a mostly deciduous forest. The case was attached to the rock and had some lichens growing on it. Some bagworm larvae eat lichens, so this would seem to be a good location for the case.

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2 Comments

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 2 years ago

Done! Thanks for the suggestion, Ava.

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 2 years ago

Please consider adding this spotting to the Animal Architecture mission at http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/8082...

Christine Y.
Spotted by
Christine Y.

Connecticut, USA

Spotted on Feb 24, 2018
Submitted on Feb 25, 2018

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