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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of this book World Catalogue of Insects, which treats the family Psychidae (bagworms, case bearers, bag moths). The name-giving character of these lepidopterans is a case produced with larval silk covered with parts of higher plants, algae, lichens, stones, sand or dead insects. Only Oiketicinae are known to have always species with apterous females. Female aptery is often associated with high fecundity resulting in temporally high population densities. Dispersal of those species is basically realised by larval dispersal on silk threads supported by wind. This sightless locomotion is accompanied with polyphagy of larvae, assuring food availability after landing. Indeed, most psychid species are polyphagous on green plants, fungi and/or lichens. The family Psychidae was described by Boisduval, who, for the first time, provided an identification key for psychid genera.

Keywords: apterous females; Psychidae



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