Subject: Caterpillar???
Location: Portland, TN
July 30, 2012 8:02 pm
Hi there, I saw the ”bug” today I’m stumped. At first I thought it was a broken piece of a pine tree branch, then it started moving. A caterpillar started to crawl out of one side and when I touched it, it went inside the ”shell”. Any ideas? Thanks.
Signature: Jason Waldron


Hi Jason,
You are correct that this is a caterpillar.  It is a Bagworm, the caterpillar of a member of a family of moths with larvae that construct bags from silk and plant material.  The Bagworm drags its bag about, adding to it as the caterpillar grows.  Eventually it will pupate within the bag.  Adult males are winged and they can fly in search of a mate, but adult females are without wings and they remain inside the bag after metamorphosing into adults.  The male enters the bag of a female to mate and she lays eggs inside the bag.  The final role of the bag is to shelter the eggs over the winter when new caterpillars will emerge and spin bags of their own.

Location: Tennessee

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