Moths of North Carolina
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Zamopsyche Members:
6 NC Records

Zamopsyche commentella Dyar, 1923 - No Common Name

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Tineoidea Family: PsychidaeSubfamily: PsychinaeTribe: [Psychini]P3 Number: 300010.00 MONA Number: 440.00
Comments: The family Psychidae contains as many as 1,350 species that are found worldwide. The females of many species are flightless, and the larvae of all species live in constructed cases or bags, hence the name bagworms. Zamopsyche is a monotypic genus that is restricted to the eastern US.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Davis (1964)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The male has somewhat broad, rounded wings and broadly bipectinate antennae that have 19-20 segments. The head, thorax, abdomen and wings are all uniform fuscous (Davis, 1964). The scales are evenly distributed over the wing, and those of the cell in the forewing are very slender and almost hairlike. The fore tibia has a long spine (epiphysis), the middle tibia lacks an apical spur, and the posterior tibia is unarmed. The forewing usually has 11 veins, but in rare instances only 10. The wingless females are vermiform, with the legs and all other external appendages vestigial. They live in smooth, granulose silk cases that are 11-15 mm long and covered with tiny particles of sand, lichens and other debris (Davis, 1964). The males closely resembles those of Prochalia pygmaea, which has 12 veins in the forewing versus 11 in Zamopsyche commentella. The males also lack an apical spur on the middle tibia as seen in Prochalia pygmaea. Davis (1964) noted that the wings of Prochalia pygmaea are broader and usually shorter than those of Z. commentella, while the discal scales of the forewing are relatively broad and oblanceolate with acute apices, versus slender and hairlike in Zamopsyche commentella.
Wingspan: 14-16 mm (Davis, 1964)
Adult Structural Features: Davis (1964) reported that the genitalia are indistinguishable from those of Prochalia pygmaea, which are described in his monograph.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history and ecology are largely unknown. The larvae feed on lichens and pupation occurs within the case. The wingless females remain in the case their entire lives.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The range extends from Mississippi eastward to Florida, then northward along the coast to as far north as Delaware. MPG shows specimens from West Virginia and Kentucky that are unverified.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: The few records that are available for adults are from January, June, September and October, with most from the latter two. Our one record for a male is from mid-October.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The larvae feed on lichens on tree trunks and limbs. Populations north of Florida are all from coastal areas, suggesting that this species cannot tolerate extreme cold.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae feed on lichens (Davis, 1964) and have been found on the bark of apples (Pyrus malus), elms (Ulmus spp.), oaks (Quercus spp.), and Royal Palm (Roystonea regia). - View
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This is a seemingly rare species outside of Florida, but more detailed information is needed on its distribution and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Zamopsyche commentella - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2017-03-20
Cabarrus Co.