Once the caterpillars hatch from the bags in the container (Fig. Fig. Use spray equipment that gives complete coverage of all foliage. 4) in her bag before dropping to the ground and dying. The bagworm ( Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) found on most evergreens lives in east-central Texas, from the Oklahoma state line to the Gulf Coast. Nearby host plants can remain unaffected. Habitat and Food Source(s): Caterpillars have chewing mouthparts. Hire a professional exterminator if you do not have adequate equipment. There are visible black or gray markings on the forewings. The evergreen bagworm thrives in the eastern United States as far west as Nebraska, north into New England and bordering the Gulf of Mexico south throughout Texas. There are a total of [ 377 ] Texas Moths in the ButterflyIdentification.org database. 206. Despite its nickname, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis is not a worm, but a moth. However, natural enemies often can’t prevent the bagworms from damaging plants. They fly and seek out a female to mate. X. Male bagworm moths around bag in which male pupal skin emerged. Mature male bagworms develop into black, fur-covered moths, slightly less than ¼-inch long, with clear wings. Bags can be removed from host plants by hand. Description: This insect is usually first detected by observing the bags produced by the larval (caterpillar) stages. Different species use different plant materials to make their bags. Bagworm Moth - Southeastern Arizona Texas Canyon, Dragoon, Arizona . Full grown caterpillars within bags are up to 1 inch long before pupating in August or September. Pesticide users are legally required to read and carefully follow all directions and all safety precautions on the container label. Bags vary in size (up to 2 inches long and ½ inch wide) by growth stage (instar) of the larva and between species, and appearance varies with the bits and pieces of host plant leaves, twigs and bark fragments woven in to the silken bag in a shingle-like fashion. The best time to apply an insecticide is while the larvae are still small (less than 1/2-inch long), usually in May to early June for North Texas. It is a perennial moth like insect that is wingless and resides on a number of evergreen as well as junipers. X. Life Cycle: Winter is spent in the pupal stage in a silken cocoon in leaf litter or in cracks on rough bark. 3. Caterpillars grow throughout the summer and pupate in August or September. 205. Moonseed Moth. The hindwings are just a solid gray or dark brown color with no patterning. Bagworm Moths are a family of moths whose caterpillars hide in cases built from plant debris. Chemical control is not as effective when the caterpillars close their bags to molt or pupate. The Evergreen Bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis), commonly known as bagworm, eastern bagworm, common bagworm, common basket worm, or North American bagworm, is a moth that spins its cocoon in its larval life, decorating it with bits of plant material from the trees on which it feeds. Each caterpillar makes its own bag that it carries around as it feeds with the head and legs sticking out the open, top end of the bag. Modest Sphinx. Keep all pesticides in their original labeled containers and stored away from children. During molts and pupation, caterpillars seal the bags. Her body is soft and yellowish-white. In addition to fir tree varieties, bagworms frequently infest live oak, elm, maple, and Indian Hawthorne. Many popular tree varieties that flourish throughout Fort Worth, Arlington and the north Texas region are desired host trees for bagworms. The males leave their bags through the lower end and fly to seek females, leaving their pupal skin protruding from the bottom of the bag. A species of the desert bagworm (O. townsendi) is found from El Paso to Alpine and in the Trans-Pecos area. The cases of dried plant leaves, evergreen needles, or lichen bits are often seen moving by themselves until a closer inspection reveals the engine behind it all. 204. Although bagworms are not abundant every year, once a plant is infested the insect becomes a persistent problem unless controlled. As soon as the caterpillar of the bagworm moth hatches, it weaves a silk cocoon around itself, inside which it will live until it grows into an adult moth. Seeing a butterfly emerge from its cocoon is magical. The small, silk weaving that resembles a Christmas tree ornament on your favorite tree or shrub is not decoration. Texas A&M University - Department of Entomology • 2475 TAMU • College Station, TX 77843-2475 Larvae may hibernate during the winter and resume feeding in the spring before pupation. A larva closes its bag’s upper opening before each of the molts between developmental stages and before winter hibernation The most easily identified feature of bagworms is the tough, portable, silken case they build to live in. I had no idea what this was I was watching on my morning walk until I came home and looked it up. The information on this page is for educational purposes only. Adult males have short ½ inch-long clear wings, hairy black bodies and feathery antennae emerge. Young larvae drifting on the silk thread may spread the infestation to new host plants. All pesticides are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. They have comblike antennae and usually have clear wings (which is very unmothlike), since they lose most of their wing scales as they squeeze out of their larval cases. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied. The wingless females emerge only halfway and wait to mate with the males. At maturity, caterpillars may be 3/4 to 1-inch long; the bags hanging from plants are 1-3/4 to 2 inches long and more than 1/2-inch wide. They may become abundant enough in some years to completely defoliate their host plant. User Tip: Click on the "X" found on each entry below to hide specific bugs from this page's listing. Crowded larvae may eat the buds on these conifers causing branch dieback and open, dead areas. Each species’ slightly different habits and life cycles affect the timing of control measures. As the caterpillar grows through four or more molts (instars), it enlarges its bag. These bagworms usually pass the winter as large larvae, which feed a little in the spring before pupating in April or May. bagworm moths. Bagworms are moths that feed on shrubs and trees during their larval stage. Hibernated eggs may hatch as early as February. Most species carry their bags along twigs and foliage with their feet or by an attached silk thread. The silken texture of the bag is hidden and strengthened by layers of leaves, twigs and bark fragments arranged in a crosswise or shingle fashion. As the larvae hatch, they spin single threads of silk and attach to adjacent limbs or plants, where they begin building their own silk bags; they carry the bags upright as they move. As the caterpillars grow, the bags becomes more elongated. They have two long visible antennas and a wingspan of about 12mm in length. Click for a hub of Extension resources related to the current COVID-19 situation. The most outlandish and impressive bagworm species construct homes resembling tiny log cabins. There are a total of (451) Texas Butterflies and Moths found in the Insect Identification database. The following descriptors identify this insect: worm in case, pine needles, lichen, dead plant, litter, crawling, speckled, flying, brown, green, tan, black. The bag ranges in size from 6 to 152 mm (0.25 to 6 inches) and is constructed from silk and bits of leaves, twigs, and Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory, Texas A&M College of Agrculture and Life Sciences, For additional information, contact your local. A species of the desert bagworm (O. townsendi) is found from El Paso to Alpine and in the Trans-Pecos area of Texas. 1). Regardless of the information provided in an Extension publication, always follow the product’s label. Completely defoliated evergreen species such as arborvitae and juniper, can be killed. of black dots on the top of each body segment characteristic of the fall webworm. An adult male bagworm moth has left behind its house and pupae covering (protruding out the base of the bag) to seek out a mature female. X. 2). Pick off all of the bags and destroy or discard them. These bags protect the caterpillars, or larvae, pupae, female adults and eggs of bagworms (Order Lepidoptera Family Psychidae, Fig. Determine the right time for treatment by collecting bags in late winter and keeping them in a container out of sunlight. This publication is a revision of L-1802, Bagworms, by Philip J. Hamman, former Extension entomologist. Several species occur in the state. The bagworm moth (Psychidae) of the family Lepidoptera might be a pest for Botanists, but for Lepidopterists they are one of the rare architects of the animal world. The author is grateful for review comments by Carlos Bogran, John Jackman and Scott Ludwig. The adult male, which resembles a small moth (Fig. The most easily identified feature of bagworms is the tough, portable, silken case they build to live in. The Bagworm Moth is typically 0.4 inches to 1.4 inches (12mm to 36mm) in size. The worm expels refuse through a small opening at the narrow, lower end of the bag and uses a wider opening at the top … Use insecticides containing acephate (Orthene®), Bacillus thuringiensis var. Adult male evergreen bagworm moths are furry and look a lot like blackish bees with long, tapering abdomen tips. Typical insecticides will have no effect when sprayed on the bag full of caterpillars. Bagworms will migrate away from the food plant to find a suitable place for pupation, and they pupate inside the bag. Bag of Metura elongatus which can grow to more than 120mm in length The Psychidae (bagworm moths, also simply bagworms or bagmoths) are a family of the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). The young caterpillar comes X. Bagworms are the larval form of a moth that takes a different form depending on its sex. Characteristics: Bagworms are also referred to as evergreen bagworms. Pest Status: Caterpillar stages in bags feed on leaves and can defoliate shrubs and trees; medically harmless. During the winter months, bags contain remains of female moths and eggs produced by them. After a 3-week pupal period, the adult moths emerge. This is a Bagworm in the family Psychidae. Females produce a clutch of eggs in their bags before dropping to the ground to die. The silken texture of the bag is hidden and strengthened by layers of leaves, twigs and bark fragments arranged in a crosswise or shingle fashion. Bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth) (Lepidoptera: Psychidae), larval “bag” on arborvitae. Eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. Leaves may be damaged by having the outer layer of cells (epidermis) removed by small caterpillars or all tissues but major leaf veins removed by larger caterpillars. Their growth and life changes are influenced by rainfall and season. When in doubt about any instructions, contact the pesticide seller or the manufacturer listed on the label for clarification. Moderate defoliation is unsightly. This Moth can be found in the following North American states / … Excessive defoliation of these conifers may cause entire plant death during the following season. A now-empty case of a male bagworm is marked by the pupal “skin” left dangling from the bottom of the sac. Apply insecticide soon after bagworm eggs have hatched or while the larvae are small and feeding. Click for a hub of Extension resources related to the current COVID-19 situation. Bagworms can be successfully managed with insecticides. The bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) is a common pest of many coniferous and deciduous trees in the eastern U.S. 3), is sooty black in color, and has clear wings with a 1-inch span and feathery antennae. When many small bagworms are present and feeding, an insecticide may be needed to prevent serious damage. The bagworm lives its entire life cycle inside the safety of its bag, which it constructs with silk and interwoven bits of foliage. Morning Glory Prominent. A spray application of BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) on the foliage of the host tree is the old standard, particularly on young caterpillars. After mating, females produce a large clutch (500 to 1,000) of eggs inside their bodies and die. The bagworm caterpillar lives its entire life inside a tough protective case made of silk and camouflaging bits of foliage. Mint-loving Pyrausta Moth. Eggs in bags thrown on the ground will hatch in the spring and develop into larvae that could reinfest the plants. But, that sense of wonder doesn’t translate when a black, fuzzy moth emerges from its bag! Bagworms attack trees and shrubs including evergreens such as arborvitae, cedars, cypress, junipers, pines and spruce; and broadleaved plants such as apple, basswood, black locust, boxelder, elm, honey locust, Indian hawthorn, maple, various oaks, persimmon, sumac, sycamore, wild cherry and willow. The live oak bagworm (O. abbotii) is abundant in the south-central part of the state, along the Gulf Coast to the Louisiana state line. The bagworm family is fairly small, with about 1,350 species described. Females do not develop into moths, but remain inside bags and resemble maggots, with no functional eyes, legs, mouthparts or antennae. Texas Monthly Recommends: A Caterpillar That Builds a Tiny House for Itself. Once the larvae are fully grown they stop feeding. The worm expels refuse through a small opening at the narrow, lower end of the bag and uses a wider opening at the top as a door to crawl out to feed or repair its bag. Infested plants develop more bagworms each year because female stages do not fly. the summer. Those moths, likely bagworms, were busy eating your evergreen or tree before making their debut. Texas Moths In most areas, insecticides applied in April, May and June are effective. A wide range of boadleaf and evergreen trees and shrubs serve as hosts for bagworm species, including arborvitae and other ornamental conifers, box elder, cedar, cypress, elm, fruit and nut trees, juniper, live oak, locust, maple, persimmon, pines, salt cedar, sumac, sycamore, wild cherry, willow and many other ornamental plants. Common Name: Bagworm What is a Bagworm? Males are best reared from bags after caterpillars pupate. Some of the cocoons will contain a female bagworm and/or 300 plus eggs. Infestations, which may not be noticed at first, can defoliate trees and shrubs, and kill these plants if left unchecked. They make a cocoon-like bag in which to live, while they hang on the branches of trees and shrubs to feed. Seven to 10 days later, the pupae of male moths wriggle out of the bottom of the bag before the male emerges, leaving the empty pupal skin behind. The larval form appears worm-like, hence the name bagworm. In the spring (late May, early June), tiny 1/25 inch long caterpillars hatch, lower themselves on silken strands to new foliage and construct a tiny conical bag which they carry upright as they move. It is found south to the Gulf of Mexico and throughout Texas. Other bagworm species spend winter months as a partially-developed caterpillars that complete feeding and pupate in the spring. Order: Lepidoptera. This moth’s larvae spin unsightly baglike shelters in tree canopies and can cause serious damage through defoliation. Bagworm moth, (family Psychidae), any of a family of insects (order Lepidoptera) that are found worldwide and named for the baglike cases the larvae construct around themselves. The female moth will lay a cluster of a few hundred eggs on the underside of the leaves of a host plant in the spring and the eggs hatch approximately one week later. This pest rarely builds up large populations in foreste… Return to Results Page for Texas Insects . Bird predation and insect parasitism can help keep bagworm outbreaks brief. They love deciduous trees, coniferous trees, fruit trees and perennial flowers; however, they are only deadly to coniferous trees that don't lose their foliage. Their growth and life changes are influenced by rainfall and season. Each species has one generation per year. Five Pictures. For additional information, contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent or search for other state Extension offices. 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