PSYCHIDAE in Australia
Bagworms, Case Moths
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley








These Caterpillars construct a case around themselves using silk. Most camouflage it with pieces of material from their environment, often characteristically chosen and arranged by that species. They have an anterior hole in the case through which the head and thorax protrude while feeding. They have a posterior hole for excretion. They pupate within their case, generally after securing the front to a twig securely with silk, so that it swings freely. In some species the adult female is wingless, and remains in her case for the male to visit her. She actually lays her eggs in the case.

The caterpillars of the known named species each decorate their cases in a consistent pattern for that species, so it is tempting to ascribe caterpillars with cases that do not conform to these known patterns to other so-far undetermined species. Note that the caterpillars of ADELIDAE, HELIOCOSMA GROUP, and TINEIDAE also make and live in portable cases.

Some notable members of the 350 Australian named species of PSYCHIDAE are:

  • Archaeoneura amictopis

    Ardiosteres lacerata
    Ardiosteres moretonella : Scruffy Casemoth

  • Ardiosteres sporocosma
  • Ardiosteres tetrazona
  • Ardiosteres trifasciana
  • Ardiosteres velutinana

    Bathromelas hyaloscopa : Buloke Bagworm

    Cebysa leucotelus : Australian Bagmoth

  • Chalia grisea

  • Clania hemitricha
    Clania ignobilis : Faggot Casemoth
    Clania lewinii : Stick Casemoth
  • Clania persimilis
  • Clania photidias
  • Clania sciogramma
  • Clania variegata

  • Colpotorna lasiopa

    Conoeca guildingi

    Cryptothelea fuscescens
    Cryptothelea persimilis

    Dappula tertius

  • Elinostola agriodes

  • Gyrophylla eumetra

    Hyalarcta huebneri : Leaf Casemoth
    Hyalarcta nigrescens : Ribbed Casemoth
    Hyalarcta species

  • Hyaloptila hyalosoma
    Hyaloptila melanosoma

    Iphierga chrysopa

  • Iphierga chrysophaes
  • Iphierga dispersa
  • Iphierga euphragma
  • Iphierga lysiphracta
    Iphierga macarista
    Iphierga melichrysa
  • Iphierga stasiodes

    Lepidoscia acropolia
    Lepidoscia adelopis
    Lepidoscia annosella
    Lepidoscia arctiella : Tower Casemoth
    Lepidoscia bancrofti
    Lepidoscia basiferana
    Lepidoscia carlotta
    Lepidoscia cataphracta
    Lepidoscia characota
    Lepidoscia chloropetala
    Lepidoscia confluens
    Lepidoscia dicranota
    Lepidoscia euryptera
    Lepidoscia glabrella
    Lepidoscia heliochares
    Lepidoscia irrorea : Mottled Casemoth
    Lepidoscia melitora
    Lepidoscia polymeres
    Lepidoscia protorna
    Lepidoscia punctiferella
    Lepidoscia retinochra
    Lepidoscia saxosa
    Lepidoscia stenomochla
    Lepidoscia tetramochla
    Lepidoscia tyrobathra
    Lepidoscia species A : Cone Casemoth
    Lepidoscia species B : Sandy Casemoth
    Lepidoscia species C : Tapered Flaky Casemoth
    Lepidoscia species D : Twisted Tower Casemoth

  • Lomera aristocosma
  • Lomera bicolor
    Lomera boisduvalii
    Lomera caespitosae
  • Lomera capnaea
  • Lomera crocobathra
  • Lomera dewitzi
  • Lomera dysmorpha
  • Lomera felinus
  • Lomera fulva
  • Lomera gymnophasa
    Lomera lurida
  • Lomera melanodes
  • Lomera pantosemna
  • Lomera paura
  • Lomera pelloceros
  • Lomera thermacula
  • Lomera ulias
  • Lomera walkeriana
    Lomera xanthochrysa
    Lomera zophopepla
    Lomera species

  • Mesopherna niphopasta

    Metura aristocosma
    Metura elongatus : Saunders Case Moth
    Metura falcata : Lord Howe Case Moth
    Metura phyllosacca

    Napecoetes belogramma
    Napecoetes chrysomitra
    Napecoetes scoteina

    Oecobia frauenfeldi

    Oiketicus herrichii : Smooth Casemoth
    Oiketicus species : Two-ways Casemoth

  • Paracharactis leeuweni

  • Phasmyalea pellucida

    Piestoceros conjunctella

  • Plutorectella abdominalis

    Psychanisa baliodes
    Psychanisa guttata

    Sentica felderi
    Sentica oppositella

    Trigonocyttara clandestina

    Illustrated below are PSYCHIDAE caterpillars that decorate their cases with patterns differing from those named species above, in the hope that someone who finds any of these can rear it to get an adult moth which can be identified:-

    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AA : Wattle Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AB : Haphazard Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AC
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AD
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species E
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AF
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AG
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AH
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AI : Bootlace Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AJ
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AK
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AL
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AM
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AN : Temple Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AO
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AP
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AQ
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AR
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AS
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AT : Telephone Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AW
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AX : Pipe Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AY : Flaky Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species AZ : Neat Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species BA : Fluffy Casemoth
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species BB
    Undetermined PSYCHIDAE species BC : Bark Casemoth

    Note that Metura oceanica does not occur in Australia, despite being included in the Checklist.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 2 June 2014, 5 June 2024)