Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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ABBOT'S BAGWORM MOTH
Usually only the bags, or cases, are seen of this species which can be found throughout Florida. The range includes the southeastern coastal states from Texas to North Carolina.
The larvae of Abbot's bagworm moths build cases from silk and covered with sticks and other detritus. This species arranges the sticks crossways. The caterpillar lives in this case, carrying it as it feeds and enlarging it as it grows. It then attaches the case to a plant or other structure and pupates. The females are wingless and remain in or near the case. Only males have wings and fly off to mate with a female. Neither sex have developed mouth parts as adults and only live a few days. The female lays her eggs in the case and her body remains in the case with them.
This species is named for John Abbot (1751-1841) an American entomologist and ornithologist born in London. Abbot traveled to Virginia where he collected natural history specimens for several years before settling in Georgia. He produced mostly insect illustrations, but also birds. His only publication was The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia with the main author James Edward Smith, which included 104 illustrated plates by Abbot.
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Bugguide.net info page for this species
Date record last modified:
Jun 20, 2014