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Bundle of Sticks: Psychidae

Bundle of Sticks: Psychidae
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4315 W: 231 N: 14051] (56939)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-09-30
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma EX 105mm F2.8 DG Macro, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2010-09-30 7:18
Viewed: 12344
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Friends, today I came across a creature that left me all puzzled.
First, let me tell you the story.
This afternoon at about 3 p.m., I was on my way out of my office and walking to the car park. My Deputy was walking with me. Suddenly, he stopped and pointed down at the path we were walking on. There was a small bundle of sticks (about one and a half inch long)and an insect was sticking out of it partially and dragging the bundle behind it. My Deputy has been seeing me pottering around the campus looking for bugs and birds for the last three months and he too has got enthused about nature even though he is not a nature photographer.
I frantically started getting my DSLR ready and Ali, my Deputy, knelt down to have a closer look at the strange insect. His action startled the insect and it quickly withdrew into the bundle of sticks. By the time I was ready with my camera, it again came out tentatively and started crawling forward with the bundle behind it. Its efforts were laborious and occasionally the round shaped bundle made its movement unsteady. I took three shots of it in succession. Then I touched the bundle with my finger and the insect withdrew into it at lightning speed and clammed itself tightly shut inside. The membrane you can see at the entrance to the bundle just sealed itself.
Seeing that the insect had gone into prolonged defensive stance, I picked up the bundle and gently placed it among plants bordering the lawn since it was heading in that direction only with lots of ground still to cover. Mystified, my Deputy and I then walked away to my car.

After posting the picture, the correct ID of this insect once again came from our erudite friend Ivan.
Thanks a lot, Ivan, for educating me.

The Psychidae (bagworm moths, also simply bagworms or bagmoths) are a family of the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). The bagworm family is fairly small, with about 600 species described.


The caterpillar larvae of the Psychidae construct cases out of silk and environmental materials such as sand, soil, lichen, or plant materials. These cases are attached to rocks, trees or fences while resting or during their pupa stage, but are otherwise mobile. The larvae of some species eat lichen, while others prefer green leaves. In many species, the adult females lack wings and are therefore difficult to identify accurately. Case-bearer cases are usually much smaller, flimsier, and consist mainly of silk, while bagworm "bags" resemble caddisfly cases in their owtward appearance a mass of (mainly) plant detritus spun together with silk on the inside.

Bagworm cases range in size from less than 1 cm to 15 cm among some tropical species. Each species makes a case particular to its species, making the case more useful to identify the species than the creature itself. Cases among the more primitive species are flat. More specialized species exhibit a greater variety of case size, shape, and composition, usually narrowing on both ends. Body markings are rare. Adult females of many bagworm species have only vestigial wings, legs, and mouthparts. The adult males of most species are strong fliers with well-developed wings and feathery antennae but survive only long enough to reproduce due to under developed mouthparts that prevent them from feeding. Their wings have few of the scales characteristic of most moths, instead having a thin covering of hairs.


Another view of the insect can be seen in the Workshop.


Thanks for looking.

Argus, haraprasan, manaswi27, eng55, siggi, eqshannon, goldyrs, Silvio2006, caspian, anel has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
exploring the secrets of naturewinterpalace 1 12-05 22:20
To Argus: Thanksramthakur 1 09-30 08:13
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Ram. Interesting compo MF with stunning details, sharp and very good DOF too.


Hi Ram
It's a purse-case caddisflies. There are pretty common here in France, and well know as excellent bait for fishing.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5042 W: 260 N: 15594] (50624)
  • [2010-09-30 7:50]
  • [+]

A real poser Ram!
Jean-Marie suggests that this is a Caddisfly larva, but as all caddisfly larvae are aquatic and you found this crawling on a dry path I suggest as you were thinking, that this is a moth larva, probably belonging to the family Psychidae, the larvae of which build sack-like cocoons that they embellish with organic material as protection while they forage for food.
The quality of this image is excellent in every way.
Thanks and kind regards,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5136 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-09-30 8:07]

Hello Ram,
After a day without electricity I'm back now.
Strange and interesting photo of this larva. Good sharpness, details, natural colours and composition. Nice contrasing BG.

Hi Mr. Ram,
Ivan is right about this beauty. It is a caterpillar of moth belonging to Psychidae family. Very well composed shot with excellent sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.


hello sir
nice macro good color and sharp feature in all
and one more thing nature made many beautifully creatures and we don't know anything about them.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-09-30 10:46]

Hi Ram,
Beautiful macro.Well caught and composed.Excellent work!Thanks for sharing..

Hello Ram,
What a perfect capture of this moth caterpillar in defensive behaviour. Very interesting story and great sharpness. A great document. Cheers,

hello Ram
super good picture to show us this insect with great sharpness and good details
the colours are very good
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-09-30 13:35]

Hello Ram.
Excellent macro of this larva with very good sharpness and beautiful colours. Good POV and composition.Best regards Siggi

Very good eyes on your deputy. Nice of you for giving him spotting credit! When I first view it, I thought the "sticks" made it look like a squid....but the crawlers give it away to Ivan. I wonder if this is a TN first. Nice capture moment Ram.

WOOOOOOOOOWWW! What on earth is this, Sir?
I sometimes find Creation to have created some really ugly creatures, and forgive me for saying this, but this one looks like it belongs with that group!
But a wonderful shot, and detailed and another learning for me!

Ciao Ram, great macro of strange creature, splendid sharpness and fine details, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Ram,

Wonderful and very interesting image and a very successful shooting.
The image captured with good timing.
Thank you for sharing.

Regards, have nice day.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3052 W: 3 N: 8715] (40572)
  • [2010-10-02 4:54]

Hello Ram,
This posting is highly intersting- I also like how you inspire other people in their interest of nature. Just great! I never had seen this kind of creatures and am happy to see that other TN-members could give you some indications for the ID. Very impressive, the large version!
I wish you a nice weekend.
Kind regards

Hi Ram
A great observation! I guess, the two sticks which are longer, possibly help the balance once the case is hanging from a tree!?!



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