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Species Phereoeca uterella - Household Casebearer - Hodges#0390

Paperlike bug - Phereoeca uterella Unknown indoor inhabitant - Phereoeca uterella Unknown indoor inhabitant - Phereoeca uterella Pod Creature - Phereoeca uterella Along baseboard bug - Phereoeca uterella Caterpillar - Phereoeca uterella What is this?  - Phereoeca uterella Household Casebearer - Hodges #0390 - Phereoeca uterella
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Tineoidea (Tubeworm, Bagworm, and Clothes Moths)
Family Tineidae (Clothes Moths)
Subfamily Tineinae
Genus Phereoeca (Household Casebearer Moths)
Species uterella (Household Casebearer - Hodges#0390)
Hodges Number
0390
Other Common Names
formerly Plaster Bagworm
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly P. walsinghami and dubitatrix
Numbers
the only species in this genus in North America
Size
adult male wingspan 7-9 mm; female wingspan 10-13 mm
fully-developed larva about 7 mm; larval case 8-14 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing gray with up to four spots and a brush of long, lighter gray hair-like scales along inner margin of hindwing; males are smaller, thinner, and have a less distinctive wing pattern than females

Larva: larval case is slender, flat, fusiform, or spindle-shaped, resembling the seed of a cantaloupe or pumpkin
Range
southern United States
Habitat
Larval cases can be found on wool rugs and wool carpets, hanging on curtains, or under buildings, hanging from subflooring, joists, sills and foundations; also found on exterior of buildings in shaded places, under farm sheds, under lawn furniture, on stored farm machinery, and on tree trunks
Food
larvae feed on old spider webs; may also eat woolen goods of all kinds if the opportunity arises
Remarks
The larval case is silk-lined inside and open at both ends. The case is constructed by the earliest larval stage (1st instar) before it hatches, and is enlarged by each successive instar. In constructing the case, the larva secretes silk to build an arch attached at both ends to the substrate. Very small particles of sand, soil, iron rust, insect droppings, arthropod remains, hairs and other fibers are added on the outside. The inside of the arch is lined exclusively by silk, and is gradually extended to form a tunnel, while the larva stays inside. The tunnel is closed beneath by the larva to form a tube free from the substrate, and open at both ends. After the first case is completed, the larva starts moving around, pulling its case behind. With each molt, the larva enlarges its case. Later cases are flattened and widest in the middle, allowing the larva to turn around inside.
[from Featured Creatures, U. of Florida]
Internet References
comprehensive illustrated article on all aspects of the species (Featured Creatures, U. of Florida)