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Family Psychidae - Bagworm Moths

White-banded Kearfottia Moth - Hodges #0319 - Kearfottia albifasciella White-banded Kearfottia Moth - Kearfottia albifasciella Bagworm What is this crazy looking thing on the black-eyed susan? Unknown black moth Common Bagworm Moth - Psyche casta caterpillar ? emerging from 'wood' cocoon Moth
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Psychidae (Bagworm Moths)
28 species in 14 genera in our area (1).
Male wingspan 12 - 36 mm
Adult females are either wingless or have only little vestigial stubs where wings should be. Males are usually black and unmarked.(2)

Larvae (bagworms) construct elaborate little cases around themselves of plant debris and other organic matter.

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Larvae of some species eat lichen, whereas others prefer green leaves of a hostplant (usually a deciduous or coniferous tree).
Adults do not feed.
Life Cycle
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.

Some bagworm species are parthenogenetic; their eggs hatch without being fertilized.
Subfamily Naryciinae
2 genera in North America: Dahlica, Kearfottia
Subfamily Oiketicinae
3 genera in North America: Apterona, Oiketicus, Thyridopteryx
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Subfamily Psychinae
8 genera in North America: Astala, Basicladus, Coloneura, Cryptothelea, Hyaloscotes, Prochalia, Psyche, Zamopsyche
Subfamily Taleporiinae
1 genus in North America: Siederia
Print References
Davis, D. R. 1964. Bagworm moths of the Western Hemisphere (Lepidoptera: Psychidae). USNM Bulletin 244: 1-233 (3)
Internet References
pinned adult images of 6 species by Jim Vargo, plus photos of related species/families (Moth Photographers Group)
overview of family (Wikipedia)
Works Cited
1.Annotated taxonomic checklist of the Lepidoptera of North America, North of Mexico
Pohl, G.R., Patterson, B., & Pelham, J.P. 2016.
2.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
3.Bagworm Moths of the Western Hemisphere
Donald R. Davis. 1964. Smithsonian Institution.