Bagworm Moth Caterpillar
 
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: Apr. 22, 2012
                               
      Photo 2

Bagworm Moth Caterpillar - this ones bag is made of silt and bird feathers

Common Name:  Bagworm Moth Caterpillar

Latin Name:  Dahlica triquetrella (Hübner, 1813)
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Length:  up to 8mm

Range: Alberta

Habitat: Areas with Lichen

Time of year seen: March to October (Additional Sightings)

Diet: Lichen  

Other: The Bagworm Moth is an exotic species imported from Europe.  In Canada it was first recorded in 1941 at Vernon, BC.  Since that time it has spread and by the mid 1990's was present in Alberta.  The caterpillars are commonly seen in the fall and spring on the sides of builds as they climb up looking for protected places to over winter or pupate.  They are also found on trees with lichen.  In the springtime the caterpillars pupate and the parthenogenic wingless female adults emerge to lay eggs before they die a short time later.  The eggs are laid inside of the adults bag, where they hatch.  Upon hatching the young larva create their own bag and begin foraging for lichen, the bagworm moths food of choice.  The silk bags are triangular in cross section and covered with a variety of fine materials including silt and shells.
(Royal Alberta Museum)     

 
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