|Young bagworm - 1/3" including the case|
|Bag construction with petiole extending downward|
|Crawling along the twig.|
Bagworms, (aka bagworm moth), are the larval stage of one of the approximately 1350 species of the Psychidae family of moths. They lead a sheltered existence with only the adult male emerging to fly off to find a female. The wingless female remains "vegetating" in her case of plant parts, releasing her perfume to attract the male. He will generally mate with her by inserting his abdomen into her case. She will deposit her eggs in the bag and drop to the ground to die. In some cases she will retain them in her body when she dies and they will hatch inside her. Either way, she makes the ultimate sacrifice to perpetuate her species.
|Male bagworm moth - David E. Reed|
A search for pictures of the male moths brought up some images of beauties which are apparently only Australian species. Our varieties are best described as drab.
Most of the online resources are focused on eliminating bagworms as a pest or worse on urban trees. In our dense oak-hickory forest they are not a concern. I enjoy finding them. Who can't love a little "worm" that crawls around slowly in its little grass shack.