Currently viewing the category: "Bagworm"

Subject:  Strange debris covered creature
Geographic location of the bug:  Cyprus
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 04:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this moving across my shoe. It stops when prodded. I’d love to know what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Jelvis


Dear Jelvis,
We cannot make out any details in the creature that is hiding in this shelter, but we suspect it is a Bagworm, the larva of a moth in the family Psychidae.  According to BugGuide, a North American website:  “Larvae (bagworms) construct elaborate little cases around themselves of plant debris and other organic matter.”  This particular individual appears to have constructed its bag from pink flower petals.  Was there a plant with similar looking blossoms nearby?  Based on this FlickR image, there are Bagworms on Cyprus.

Hi Daniel
Thank you for your reply. Yes there is a Bougainvillea nearby so his cocoon was quite colourful. He poked his head out and it looks like the Bagworm.
Thanks again.

Subject:  Chrysalis
Geographic location of the bug:  South Florida (Punta Gorda)
Date: 02/19/2019
Time: 03:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There is a group of about 15 of what appear to be butterfly chrysalides, but I have no idea what they are. They are about 3/4 inch long and found on the south side of the house attached to the gutter. The house borders on a canal. I found them on 2/19/19.
How you want your letter signed:  Sharon 1015


Dear Sharon 1015,
This is not a butterfly chrysalis.  It is the cocoon of a Bagworm, a moth in the family Psychidae.  The larvae are known as Bagworms because they construct a shelter, the bag, and they enlarge it as they grow, eventually pupating inside the bag.

Subject:  Found on Arizona Cypress
Geographic location of the bug:  Boca Raton, FL
Date: 10/06/2018
Time: 05:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  After seeing my Cypress being infected by something – it seemed like it occurred overnight – I checked it carefully and found this pine cone looking creature on my cypress, pulled it off and it MOVED in my hand! When I put it on the ground, a caterpillar-looking creature stuck it’s head out. I actually removed thousands which I think can be called a severe infestation.  (Is it a saw fly larvae.)
How can I stop further destruction to my tree? And avoid cross contamination to another cypress nearby.
How you want your letter signed:  Carol in Boca


Dear Carol in Boca,
You have Bagworms, the larvae of a moth in the family Psychidae.  According to BugGuide:  “
Larvae (bagworms) construct spindle-shaped bags covered with pieces of twigs, leaves, etc., and remain in them — enlarging the bags as they grow — until they pupate (also in the bag). Adult females remain in the bag, emitting pheromones which attract adult males to mate with them.  Eggs are laid inside the bag, and when they hatch the larvae crawl away to begin construction of their own individual cases.”  We do not provide extermination advice.

Thank you Daniel for the weekend answer.  They are marvelous creatures that disguise themselves EXTREMELY well. For my next mission: to make sure I see them and get rid of them well before they multiply.

Subject:  Bug that carries its home with it
Geographic location of the bug:  Larisa, Greece
Date: 04/04/2018
Time: 07:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I find this one bug occasionally in my garden and I believe its always the same one I see (I’ve never spotted two or more together). It doesn’t seem harmful but I’m scared to touch it and I don’t want to bother it. It always carries something on its back as you can see in the photo. Sometimes I find it immobile with it being entirely inside the thing on its back. It has six legs from what I can see. I’d really like to identify it.
How you want your letter signed:  EntomologistWannaBe


Dear EntomologistWannaBe,
This is a Bagworm, the caterpillar of a moth in the family Psychidae.  We located a beautiful poster on Etsy with images of the Hairy Sweep,
Canephora unicolor/Canephora hirsuta, which is described as “a moth of the family Psychidae. It is found in Europe. The female has no wings. The wingspan of the male is 20–25 mm. The moth flies in one generation from May to July. The larvae feed on shrubs, deciduous trees and herbaceous plants.”  There are also images on Papillon en Macro, Project Noah and BioLib.  Bagworms construct a bag from bits of plants that they drag around and use for protection, eventually pupating inside the bag. 

Subject: Unidentifiable Bug
Location: Gillespie County Texas
August 2, 2017 6:15 pm
We located this bug hanging on a vertical metal fence column in the Texas hill country west of Austin (Gillespie County). It’s mouth was very firmly attached. It does not appear to be a cocoon. The spines are dark brown and Woody in appearance. It is 3″ long and 1″ wide at its broadest point. Found in July.
Signature: M. Reynolds


Dear M. Reynolds,
This is a Bagworm, the caterpillar of a moth in the family Psychidae.  Bagworms construct protective covers from silk and bits of the plants upon which they are feeding and they eventually pupate inside the bag which becomes the cocoon.

Subject: Agonoscelis puberula? Larvae?
Location: Houston, Texas
July 30, 2017 9:37 am
Hello. Our potted thyme plant has hundreds of what at first look like brown dried flower heads moving in the breeze. But on closer inspection, they are alive! They appear to be shells or cocoons that each house a small larvae, which pokes its head out from one end, and which spins a sort of attachment fiber, like a spider. Could these be larvae for Agonoscelis puberula? I’ve not found any pictures on the Web yet of such shells.
Signature: John in Texas


Dear John,
These are not African Cluster Bugs which are pictured on BugGuide.  These are caterpillars from some species of Bagworm moth in the family Psychidae.