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°larval shell Psychidae°°

°larval shell Psychidae°°
Photo Information
Copyright: Sergio Stella (flashpoint) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 630 W: 133 N: 4324] (28008)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-09-05
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma AF150 f 2.8 EX DG APO HSM
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/100 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Moths of Europe 6 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2012-02-06 10:40
Viewed: 2997
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Sterrhopterix fusca (Haworth, 1809)

Psychidae is a family of butterflies (or Lepidoptera), called commonly psychés. Larvae of Psychidae build a sleeve of silk and elements taken in the environment. At many species, the female is apterous, and is in fact difficult to identify with precision.

These sleeves are mobile and consist of silk and elements such as sand, the ground, of lichen, or of the vegetable remains. , but are attached to a rock, a tree or any solid support when the larva rests or during metamorphose.
At the time of the growth of the larva, the latter adds materials on the front of the sleeve. The rejection of waste is done by an opening located backwards. The sleeves have a length which varies from 1 to 15 cm, largest belonging to species tropical.
Each species manufactures a specific sleeve, which makes it more useful to identify the species than the animal itself. The sleeve of the most primitive species is flat; more specialized species show more variety in the face, the shape and the composition of their sleeve, which generally has a tapering form.

The marks on the body are rare. The adult females have often nothing any more but wings vestigiales; legs and them oral parts can also be atrophied. The adult males of the majority of the species have well developed wings and antennas feathery, but they survive only time to reproduce, because of their atrophied oral parts which empéchent them to be nourished. Their wings present few scales, however characteristic of moths ; they on the other hand present a thin cover of hairs.

During larval phase, Psychés leave their head and them thorax out of their mobile sleeve to devour the plant that they parasitize, which it is a higher plant or a lichen. The infested trees of Psychés see their foliage decreasing until sheets are devoured until rib, which ends up causing the death of the plant host. Certaines Psychés is specialized in a species of plant host, others consume various species. Recent studies showed that certain species consume also the small ones arthropods, even of mycelial filaments.

Each generation of Psychidés saw only the time of the coupling and to produce by reproduction the generation of the following year: the cycle of life is annual.
The larva starts by building a sleeve as of its blossoming. The animal will spend there at least the duration of its larval phase. At the time of the metamorphosis, the caterpillar of Psychidae will close its sleeve and will change into pupe. Once the completed metamorphosis, the adult males will leave the sleeve definitively and will fly away in the search of a partner. The females will never leave really their sleeve. To certain species, the female leaves just throughout the coupling, but at others, the male stretches its abdomen in the sleeve of the female, which does not leave its shelter. The female lays in its sleeve then dies; at certain species, she dies before laying: the larvae will emerge from the corpse of their mother. Certain species are parthenogenetic.

The sleeves of these butterflies, composed starting from materials of the environment, confer on their owner one camouflage naturalness. The principal predatory ones of Psychidae are the birds and certain species of carnivorous insects. For example, the females of Psychés which die before laying are often eaten by birds. But the eggs, whose shell is very solid, will cross the digestive tract of the bird without problem and will be rejected into the dejections. This supports the dispersion of the species on the vast wide ones.
Psychidae are regarded as vermin because of the damage which they cause on certain cultures.

my mood today for Cassandra Wilson - Go To Mexico

Model: NIKON D90
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
Exposure Time: 1/100 sec
F-Stop: f/10.0
ISO Speed Ratings: 200
Focal Length: 150/1 mm
Date Taken: 2010-09-05 11:16
Metering Mode: Pattern
File Size: 232 kb

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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Sergio,
Excellent photo of this Larvae of Psychidae, very good sharpness, great, fine, colorful details, useful presentation!
Regrds, Joska

  • Great 
  • senn Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 2 N: 155] (1384)
  • [2012-02-06 11:31]

superb capture, Sergio, .. not easy to notice it and your pic render splendid detail, .. well done ..



Hello Sergio,
Very nice presentation of this-Sterrhopterix fusca- in great sharpness and details.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-02-08 20:01]

Hello Sergio,
I don't know what is more intriguing, this wonderful image or your interesting notes. The image is superb and shows the sleeve or home in which the larva lives in. Your notes describe exactly what we are viewing in your photo, which I find facinating to say the least.
I have seen some of these little leaf cocoons here in Ohio, but never really understood what they actually were until now. Thanks for sharing a wonderful image and such interesting notes!!

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