Eumasia venefica

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Overview:

Researchers from the Zoology Department at St. Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur, have discovered a new species of bagworm moth, Wizard Bagworm, from near the Nariyampara falls in Idukki district.

About Eumasia venefica:

  • The new species has been named due to the peculiar shape of its bag, which resembles a wizard’s hat.
  • It is the fourth species of this genus to be discovered from India.
  • Features:
  • It has the clever camouflage employed to escape predators.
  • Larval cases of this species are found attached to rocks covered with lichens.
  • The cases attach to each other and form a lichen covered colony.
  • The larval bags look like a ‘witch’s hat’ because of a disc-like anterior and a tubular posterior part.
  • It is not a polyphagous pest as its larvae only feed on the algae and mosses on the rocks.

What is a Bagworm moth?

  • They are a family of moths belonging to the order Lepidoptera and are known for their protective larval cases.
  • These moths are found worldwide, but primarily in North America and Africa.
  • It is a perennial moth-like insect that resides on a number of evergreen as well as junipers in its larva stage. 
  • They are named for the baglike cases the larvae construct around themselves. 
  • The larvae are often destructive to trees, especially evergreens.

Q1: What are Junipers?

Junipers are a group of evergreen coniferous plants that belong to the genus Juniperus. They are commonly found in various parts of the world and are known for their distinctive needle-like or scale-like leaves, as well as their berry-like cones, known as juniper berries.

Source: New species of bagworm moth discovered from Idukki