Metura elongatus

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Metura elongatus
Metura elongatus cropped (ento-csiro-au).png
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Psychidae
Genus: Metura
Species: M. elongatus
Binomial name
Metura elongatus
(Saunders, 1847)[1]
  • Oiketicus elongatus Saunders, 1847
  • Oiketicus saundersii Westwood, 1855
  • Phragmatoecia capucina Wallengren, 1860
  • Oiketicus saundersi Dalla Torre & Strand, 1929

Saunders' case moth or the large bagworm (Metura elongatus) is a moth of the Psychidae family. It is known from the eastern half of Australia, including Tasmania.

The wingspan is about 30 mm for males. Adult males have black wings, an orange hairy head and a black and orange banded abdomen. Female adults have no wings and remain in the larval case. They are white with a brown head and reach a length of about 30 mm. [2]

The larvae feed on a wide range of plants, including Conyza bonariensis, Cupressus, Epacris, Dianella brevipedunculata, Acacia dealbata, Eucalyptus, Pinus and Cotoneaster species. They create a silken shelter, which is initially covered with bits of leaf, but later also with short twigs. They live and pupate within this shelter. When threatened, they temporarily seal the front opening of the case until the danger is past.