Currently viewing the category: "Bagworm"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

stick cocoon
I found this cocoon on my rose bush in west central Florida on Sept. 17, 2005. I’d never seen one like it before, and being a 4th grade teacher, took it in for my class to see. No one at school seems to know what it is, nor have they ever seen one before. I keep putting fresh rose leaves in the container with a bit of water and the catepillar ventures out occasionally to feed. Attaching a photo. Any idea what it is?
Elane Rogers

Hi Elane,
We were pretty sure this was a Bagworm, but didn’t recognize it. Now we believe it is in the genus Oiketicus. Thank you for the great photo.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear Bug man,
Hello my name is Justin Holohan. I teach 2nd grade at West Amwell School. One of my students brought in this cocoon thing as asked me what it is. I TEACH MATH AND READING NOT INSECTS!!! So hopefully you can help! They found it on their house and it looks as if something has nested inside the branch. (It looks like a juniper branch) I also saw something very similar in central Jersey. But they were attached to a pine tree. We live in the wooded area outside of the city of Lambertville. Which is just 20 minutes north of Trenton NJ. Thanks for any help you can provide!!
Justin Holohan
West Amwell School
Lambertville NJ

Hi Justin,
In the interest of education, we are pleased to help. This is a Bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis. This is a moth. The caterpillars form the bags as a camoflauge and protection and never leave the bags, dragging them along as they eat. They are fond of juniper, arborvitae, other conifers and some deciduous trees. The caterpillars also pupate in the bags. You have a pupa. The bags are sometimes found in such numbers they appear on branches all over the trees. The pupa are often found on the siding of homes. The female moth is flightless, wingless and legless but manages to leave the bag when she emerges. Males will mate with her and she crawls back into the bag to lay her eggs. We have an entire page devoted to this insect and you can show your student the response by visiting our site where it is prominently featured on the homepage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello –
Came upon your web site trying to locate some information on a cocoon we have hanging in one of our trees. I am sending this picture showing this odd looking form with the hopes you may have some kind of an answer for us. We are hoping that some sort of nice butterfly will emerge, and not some sort of destructive bug. We are located in North Carolina, where we have an array of strange things. Don’t know if this would help, but it is located in a Maple Tree. Any help you could give us would be appreciated.
Thank you for your assistance.
Gerri Francisco

Hi Gerri
You have Bagworms, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis, an unnattractive moth that forms the cocoon you pictured while still a caterpillar. It drags around this protective housing while feeding, eventually pupating inside. The males are winged and females winglessand legless. The appendageless female never lays her eggs inside the bag after mating. They are pests.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange Cocoons
Hi, Bugman,
We have two unusual cocoons around our house in central Florida. They are dark, spikey, and about 2 or 3 inches in length. What kind of critter can we expect to emerge from them?

Hi Curious,
You have a type of Bagworm, probably Thyridopteryx sphemeraeformis. This is a type of moth that often infests conifers like arborvitae. The caterpillars form the protective bag and never leaves it. It then pupates in the bag. The female is flightless and remains in the bag after emerging, and the male which has wings searches her out to mate.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

My daughter found these cocoon like pods next door to my house. There where many pods (15 in all) around the pine tree and on the pine tree that looked very natural. I’m unable to tell her what they are. Can you please help in identifying the ponds.
Brooklyn N.Y.
Michael Caputo & Kids

Dear Michael,
You have Bagworms, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis. They are common but rarely become serious pests. According to The Golden Guide Insect book, "their history is strange. The wingless and legless female, after mating, crawls back into her ‘bag’ and lays hundreds of yellow eggs, which hatch in spring. The young larvae feed on leaves of many kinds of trees, building their conical bags as they feed. Later they bind their bags to twigs (or in your case the brick wall) and pupate. The male emerges, seeks the female, and mates." We have a Bagworm page with additional information.

Dear What’s That Bug,
My girlfriend and I are stumped on identifying a bug, or more accurately, a cocoon that has latched on to the outside of her home in central Texas. 3 weeks ago this creature was partially out of its shell, and dragging this strange looking cocoon along with him. He then preceded to pull himself up a brick wall, and has been there without sign of life for 3 weeks now.
Can you help identify this strange looking creature?

Dear Mister Chris,
I appologize for the delay in your answer, but the photo was lost in the bowels of American Homebody while America’s Sweetheart was in Miami. I just received the image. You have a bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis. The exact composition of the bag is dependant upon the host plant which can be any number of deciduous trees as well as the preferred coniferous trees. Juniper is a particular favorite. I have located some information on for you. Bagworms feed on shade, orchard, and forest trees of nearly every kind, as well as many ornamental shrubs and perennials. Severe attacks are unusual. Since deciduous plants grow new leaves, damage to them is usually not serious. The growth of small or newly planted trees, however, could be slowed by leaf feeding. Newly hatched larvae begin to spin silken bags around themselves shortly after hatching. The first evidence of infestation is the presence of 1/4 inch bags which are carried almost on end by the young caterpillars inside. As larvae grow, leaf fragments are added to the bag, which may reach a length of 2 inches by the end of summer. The adult female moth is wingless and never leaves the bag. Adult males are small, grey moths with clear wings. Bagworms overwinter in the egg stage inside female bags fastened to twigs. Eggs hatch in late May and early June, and larvae feed until late August or early September. Males emerge in September and mate with females through the bag entrance. You can also check out this website which has some great photos of the bagworm.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination