General morphology of cocoon and female of the Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth, 1803) (Lepidoptera: Psychidae: Oiketicinae)

Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth, 1803) (Lepidoptera: Psychidae: Oiketicinae)

The bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis, is native species to the United States and is generally found in central and eastern states. Bagworms feed on the foliage of a wide variety of trees and shrubs, but are mostly fed and found on the juniper plant. T. ephemeraeformis (Haworth) is one of common species of two genera under the subfamily Oiketicinae of family Psychidae.

GENERAL MORPHOLOGY OF CASE
_DSC1302_2As bagworm moth caterpillars hatch, they release streamer of silk to establish new infestations on nearby trees and spin tiny protective cases around themselves constructed with a silk and foliage. There are no difference between male and female cases unless emerged. When males emerge, their exuviae are projected out of the case as images below:
_DSC6595_2 _DSC6598_2 With this specimen, I was able to figure out their heads are downwarded in the case.
Image below is a case which found out to be of female:_DSC6614_2Its appearance does not have any difference compares to the male case. This particular specimen had different foliage attached on one case. Assuming there was a tree right by the host plant, the foliage fallen from that tree is used as the case is constructed.
_DSC6613Picture above is inner side of the male case shown above. Inner wall is very soft, and silk is tangled entirely on pupa to hold it.

GENERAL APPEARANCE OF FEMALES
Females of this family are known to be wingless and caterpillar-like. However, that doesn’t mean they look same as the caterpillar stage. They are wingless and legless.
_DSC1217Lateral View of Adult Female. Head is on left, and little part exposed on the right seems to be an ovipositor, based on eggs being extracted from that part on different female specimens.
DSC06749A close up of ovipositor of different female specimen.
*Females are known to become an oothecae itself, instead of laying eggs out of their body, but based on the observation I had, females can lay eggs out of their body.

Created on 20 September 2015.
1st Update on 21 September 2015.
2nd Update on 16 October 2015.
3rd Update on 8 September 2016. – general grammar/wordings and format

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