Bagworm moths are a family of moths consisting of 1350 species. The most notable feature of these moths is that the caterpillars live inside a silk “bag” in the larval stage.
The larva spends most of their time inside a case made of silk and other materials like lichen, sand, soil, and plant materials. If taken out of the bag, one could see that the first three segments are yellow, while the posterior end is brown. The case is 1-15 cm, constructed to fit an individual specimen.
Once fully grown, they are 2.5 cm long, taking 4 months to mature.
The pupa is dark brown to black, with pupation taking place inside its larval case after attaching itself to a branch with a silk thread. They remain in this stage for 7-10 days.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present. Adult females do not develop much and remain in a larviform stage throughout their life, while the males develop wings and setae on their bodies.
Color and Appearance
When opened, the wings are translucent. When closed, they fold into a tent shape.
Average wingspan: 2.5 cm
Flight pattern: Erratic; dependent on female pheromones
They are smooth and cylindrical, with 500-1000 eggs laid per clutch in a waxy mass.
|Other names||Bagmoths, case moths|
|Habitat||Trees and shrubbery|
|Lifespan of Adults||7-10 days; males die soon after mating while females die after laying eggs|
|Predators||Parasitic wasps, hornets|
|Host Plants||Broadleaf and evergreen plants such as box elder, cedar, cherry, cypress, elm, juniper, maple, oak, persimmon, pines, sumac, sycamore, and willow|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|