Eumeta crameri

Eumeta crameri

Eumeta crameri is a bagworm moth that spins its cocoon all its larval life, decorating it with small twigs, bark and thorns from the trees on which it feeds. (For this reason, it is sometimes known as the large faggot worm.) After hatching, the larva climbs to the top of its host tree and begins feeding on the tender shoots.

The Eumeta crameri larva renovates its case three times during the 2- to 3-month larval stage, doing it progressively faster each time. Case renovation consists of replacing the twigs and thorns that make up the case with longer materials, with one piece noticeably longer than the others. The larva approaches 3 cm in length when entering the pupa stage. Adult male moths are reddish brown with wings.

Eumeta crameri has worldwide distribution in tropical and subtropical habitats, including India, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.

Females lay about 500 eggs that incubate for 10 to 15 days.

As the larvae grow, they prefer older leaves and bark of a variety of hosts: acacia (wattle), tea, mimosa, australian pine, eucalyptus, gmelina, lychee, thuja, rangoon creeper, strawberry guava and many other species.

Some host species of commercial significance, such as acacia and tea, are particularly susceptible to Eumeta crameri. As a result, this species is frequently dealt with as a pest. Some plantations are treated with aerial insecticides to protect the host plants. Plantation environments are more susceptible to the larvae than natural habitats.

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