Plaster Bagworm (Phereoeca uterella)
The plaster bagworm is a member of the family of fungus moths. Amateur entomologist Thomas de Grey, 6th Baron Walsingham first described this species in 1897.
Description and Identification
Fully developed caterpillars are white with a dark brown head. They have three pairs of brown legs and a set of white pro-legs.
The larvae are rarely seen as they spend most of their lives inside their cases. Cases are around 1.4 cm long and look like pumpkin seeds.
Pupation takes place inside the larval case.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present. Males are noticeably smaller than females.
Color and Appearance
Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are gray with dark spots. When they are closed, the colors remain the same.
Hindwing: When the wings are opened, they are plain and lined with long gray hairs. When they are closed, the hairs remain visible.
Average wingspan: 1.3 cm (females); 0.9 cm (males)
Flight pattern: Erratic
They are soft, pale blue, and about 0.4 mm long.
|Other Names||Household casebearer, atʃitʃiɁũɨi (in Kwaza)|
|Distribution||Americas, including Florida and Louisiana in the US, and Brazil and Guyana in South America|
|Lifespan of Adults||8-20 days|
|Host Plants||Silk, especially that woven by spiders; also, dandruff, fallen human hair, and wool|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
- The species found in Sri Lanka, Tinea pachyspila, is thought to either be a member of this species of moths or a household case-bearing moth.