Anything goes when it comes to choosing materials that will cover the caterpillars of a Bagworm Moth.
Bagworm Moths are a family of moths whose caterpillars hide in cases built from plant debris. 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. The tiny, worm-like caterpillar sticks out its head and legs to move forward, revealing itself. When resting or threatened, it wisely retreats inside its protective case. Cases allow the caterpillar to blend into its surroundings while it feeds. It also protects it from the elements. Caterpillar silk helps it attach its case to branches or beams when it is ready to pupate. These Bagworms eventually become winged adult moths that are dark brown, light brown, or two-toned depending on the species.
Look for larval Bagworms among the branches of pine, juniper, red cedar, arbor vitae, and other conifers as well as among mosses and lichens. Some species are pests of their host plants and should be removed or controlled to prevent spreading to neighboring trees. Adults do not seem to feed at all, focusing their time and energy on reproduction instead.
Scientific Name: Various spp.
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 36mm (0.47in to 1.40in)
Colors: brown, green, tan, black
Descriptors: worm in case, pine needles, lichen, dead plant, litter, crawling, speckled, flying
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
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.