What bug had made this?
May 23, 2010
I clicked this picture thinking it was a screw.. Then someone corrected me saying that its probably an insect which makes a cocoon out of twigs. Can you tell what it really is… ‘coz its definitely not a screw that I shot!
Muscat, Oman

Bagworm:  Amicta quadrangularis

Hi Brinda,
The only conclusion we can draw is that this must be some species of Bagworm, a group of moths in the family Psychidae.  Many North American species are represented on BugGuide.  We decided to search online in an effort to be more specific with your individual.  The closest we found is a Bagworm from Singapore with a bag construction similar to your example, but with an interesting twist.  Some photos are on a Blog about Singapore (scroll about 3/4 way down) and one of the photos is also posted on Flickr.  Bagworms begin constructing a bag when they are young caterpillars, adding to the bag as they grow.  The bag acts as a means of shelter and protection and the caterpillar does not leave the bag, eventually pupating inside.  The bag is constructed from silk and plant material, generally from the plant upon which the caterpillar feeds.  Many female Bagworms are wingless and legless, and they never leave the shelter of the bag.  The male seeks the female out when she is sexually mature and mates either inside the bag or in the entrance to the bag.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck identifying the species for us.

Thanks a bunch.. I did a bit of research myself on bagworms..but still a bit lost on which type is this one. Most of them are on leaves or branches, but this one was on a concrete block on the side of a road.
I’m going to try and dig a bit more on bagworms in Oman.
Thanks again!

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4 Responses to Mystery: Bagworm (we think) from Oman

  1. Ben says:

    Hi Brinda,
    This neat little bug is a bagworm moth, Amicta quadrangularis. It is a desert species, also found in Southern Israel. It is unusual in that it creates a bag with the twigs perpendicular to the opening and arranged in a square like a log cabin, and not aligned with it like other bagworms.
    Very cool!

  2. The bag is quadrate (four sides). This is characteristic to the bagworm Amicta quadrangularis (Lepidoptera: Psychidae). It is common in arid and semiarid ecosystems; also in Middle East e.g. Egypt and Israel. Adult male winged, dark gray nearly black in color. Female wingless does not leave its shelter bag; its bag is ca 3 cm long and 1 cm wide. Male bag ca 2 cm long and 0.5 cm wide. Female bag hosts the male during mating with the female. Moths do not feed like silkworms; their mouthparts are vestigial.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks so much for providing information on the life cycle of this Middle Eastern Bagworm, a species that shares many characteristics with other Bagworms.

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