Bagworm moth Evergreen bagworm

Skip to main content

Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Log in   
  Register





My BAMONA

My sightings

My species checklist

Manage my photographs

My Account

Modal Header

  Submit a Sighting

Coordinator Tools

Pending sightings

Sightings I verified

Species I created

Unidentifiable sightings

Evergreen Bagworm Moth
Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth, 1803)


Family: Psychidae
Subfamily: Oiketicinae
Identification: Body in male entirely black. Wings also entirely black but usually translucent from loss of scales after emergence from larval case. Abdomen long, tapering. Female entirely wingless and does not leave larval case.
Wing Span: male 1.7-3.6 cm.
Life History: Larvae can be a pest to ornamentals, particularly red cedar. Larva attaches its case with silk to twig of food plant.
Flight: September-October.
Caterpillar Hosts: Trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Adult Food:
Habitat:
Range: Massachusetts to southern Florida, west to Nebraska and Texas.
Conservation:
NCGR:
Management Needs:
Comments: NULL

Verified Sightings

Displaying 1 – 24 of 211 verified sightings

Observation date: Sep 20, 2018
Submitted by: hullyjr
Region: Lake County, Illinois, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Oct 28, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Jul 29, 2018
Submitted by: treichard
Region: Maryland, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Sep 26, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Sep 22, 2018
Submitted by: a-o
Region: Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Sep 24, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Sep 09, 2018
Submitted by: reupurtbones
Region: Metcalfe County, Kentucky, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Sep 09, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Aug 28, 2018
Submitted by: Howell_Curtis
Region: Harrison County, Indiana, United States
Verified by: Howell_Curtis
Verified date: Aug 29, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Aug 24, 2018
Submitted by: Jean McLane
Region: Guadalupe County, Texas, United States
Verified by: stomlins701
Verified date: Aug 26, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Aug 25, 2018
Submitted by: Howell_Curtis
Region: Lawrence County, Indiana, United States
Verified by: Howell_Curtis
Verified date: Aug 26, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Aug 22, 2018
Submitted by: Jessicae2239
Region: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States
Verified by: curtis.lehman
Verified date: Aug 22, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Aug 01, 2018
Submitted by: jskinner
Region: Campbell County, Kentucky, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Aug 02, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Jul 22, 2018
Submitted by: Jim Eckert
Region: Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States
Verified by: Jim Eckert
Verified date: Jul 22, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Jul 07, 2018
Submitted by: Jdh852
Region: Texas, McLennan County, United States
Verified by: stomlins701
Verified date: Jul 07, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Mar 17, 2018
Submitted by: treichard
Region: Howard County, Maryland, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Mar 17, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Mar 04, 2018
Submitted by: treichard
Region: Page County, Virginia, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Mar 11, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Mar 03, 2018
Submitted by: treichard
Region: Virginia, United States, Warren County
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Mar 05, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Feb 17, 2018
Submitted by: treichard
Region: Howard County, Maryland, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Mar 02, 2018

  Details

Observation date: Oct 15, 2017
Submitted by: treichard
Region: Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: Oct 25, 2017

  Details

Observation date: Aug 17, 2017
Submitted by: Meg Britton
Region: Williamson County, Tennessee, United States
Verified by: Ken Childs
Verified date: Sep 27, 2017

  Details

Observation date: Sep 23, 2017
Submitted by: GCSnelling
Region: Craighead County, Arkansas, United States
Verified by: stomlins701
Verified date: Sep 24, 2017

  Details

Observation date: Sep 19, 2017
Submitted by: curtis.lehman
Region: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States
Verified by: curtis.lehman
Verified date: Sep 24, 2017

  Details

Observation date: Sep 06, 2017
Submitted by: nrpeters
Region: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States
Verified by: curtis.lehman
Verified date: Sep 06, 2017

  Details

Observation date: Sep 04, 2017
Submitted by: Latenight
Region: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States
Verified by: curtis.lehman
Verified date: Sep 05, 2017

  Details

Observation date: Aug 06, 2017
Submitted by: DarianRobbins
Region: Douglas County, Kansas, United States
Verified by: stomlins701
Verified date: Aug 26, 2017

  Details

Observation date: Aug 25, 2017
Submitted by: lesliedaynyc
Region: Kings County, New York, United States
Verified by: Sue Gregoire
Verified date: Aug 26, 2017

  Details

Observation date: Aug 23, 2017
Submitted by: blueracer
Region: Sedgwick County, Kansas, United States
Verified by: stomlins701
Verified date: Aug 26, 2017

  Details

  •  
  • 1 of 9
  • next ›

Insect Identification logo
Icon of a spider
Icon of a beetle insect
Icon of a butterfly
Icon of a bee
Icon of the Bugfinder utility

Evergreen Bagworm Moth (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Evergreen Bagworm Moth.


 Updated: 3/14/2018;
Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org

Loading SVG image placeholder
1/3
Image Credit: Barbara T. taken in Kingsland, GA

Full-sized image #1 of the Evergreen Bagworm Moth
Thumbnail image #1 of the Evergreen Bagworm Moth

2/3
Image Credit: Michele P. from Overland, KS

Full-sized image #2 of the Evergreen Bagworm Moth
Thumbnail image #2 of the Evergreen Bagworm Moth

3/3
Image Credit: Stephanie J. taken in North Canton, OH

Full-sized image #3 of the Evergreen Bagworm Moth
Thumbnail image #3 of the Evergreen Bagworm Moth




The Evergreen Bagworm Moth is visually interesting, but its littered larval form really gets people’s attention.

At first glance, the Evergreen Bagworm Moth’s caterpillar looks like a moving pine cone, mystifying most observers that are unfamiliar with this family of moths. Bagworm Moth caterpillars wrap themselves in a silk cocoon onto which heaps of dead plant matter are laid. Some individuals are covered in just pine needles, other in small bits of wood mulch. The debris depends on what is on hand or nearby when they are forming the cocoon.

The caterpillar will spend much of its life in this makeshift bag, hanging from a branch, blending in with the tree. It is when they crawl around for food that people begin to notice them. The plant-covered cocoon is carried along with them everywhere they go. They move slowly, pushing their heads out of the bag and then retreating it in order to advance forward. This results in what looks like an anomaly: a moving plant. Once the caterpillar’s life stage is over though, it pupates in the bag it created and emerges a dark and furry moth with feathery antennae. Wingless adult females keep their bags. Males will fly to females to mate and females lay their fertilized eggs in their old bags. Once the larvae hatch, they will create their own silk bags of debris.

This species of moth is usually found in areas with conifer trees. Red cedar and arbor vitae are very popular choices and many bags are made of dried arbor vitae needles. The caterpillars are usually seen in the summer; adults usually in early autumn.

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Psychidae
          Genus: Thyridopteryx
            Species: ephemeraeformis
Identifying Information
Scientific Name:
Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis
Other Name(s): Common Bagworm, Eastern Bagworm
Category:
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 16mm to 35mm (0.62in to 1.37in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Colors: black, brown, tan
Descriptors: pine, cedar, needles, arbor vitae, bark, mulch, crawling, hairy, flying, feathery
Territorial Map

Alaska  

Hawaii  

Prince Edward Is.  

State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico

Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic

Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect’s reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.

Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1

Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.

2

Head: The head is home to the insect’s eyes, antennae, and proboscis.

3

Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.

4

Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.

5

Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.

6

Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.

NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.