General morphology of male 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.

Following link is post about general morphology of the cocoon and the female:

_DSC6595_2_DSC6598_2_DSC6613As mentioned in the previous post regarding the cocoons and the female, male and female cocoons look same until the emergence. Male cocoon has exuvia projected out of the cocoon, showing it is empty. Live cases are thick while dead or empty cases are usually shrunken in size.

Males are similar to the other moth species except they lack scale on their wings. However, they are very hairy on its body, and hair easily detached when touched.

dsc01270As they are too small and fast to capture, I couldn’t photograph while they are flying over my light, but all the dead males had its aedeagus projected out of its body. I’m unsure if aedeagus are normally projected out or is projected out upon the death. I will update more detailed photo and text on this part in the future.

Males are known to emerge a month ahead of females, take some time to be matured, and fly around the female cases upon their (females) emergence during the day until the early evening.

This species is known to be a great pest on ornamental trees like juniper. However, as females are flightless, I doubt they can spread out naturally to previously uninfected areas. I only assume humans are involved in their spreading by accidentally planting infected trees in the new habitat.

Created on 8 September 2016.
Updated on 16 December 2016.


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