<i>Lagerstroemia speciosa</i> (L.) Pers. (Lythraceae), a new host for the defoliator <i>Oiketicus kirbyi</i> Guilding, [1827] (Lepidoptera: Psychidae).


  • W. S. Tavares
  • J. E. Serrão
  • R. A. Barbosa
  • J. C. Zanuncio


bagworm, giant crape-myrtle, ornamental plant, tropical region, Zona da Mata region


The native vegetation of the Zona da Mata region in Minas Gerais, Brazil has largely been replaced by coffee plantations. Coffee, Coffea spp. (L.) (Rubiaceae), is the preferred host of the bagworm Oiketicus kirbyi Guilding, [1827] (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) in Brazil. This insect was found to cause damage to plants of Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers. (Lythraceae) in the Municipality of Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Three individuals of various sizes were found in seven trees planted along a parking lot. The branches containing the insects were collected, brought to the laboratory, and transferred to plastic pots (1.0 L) provided with a cotton wool pad moistened with distilled water. The caterpillars, of nocturnal habit, were observed partly emerging from the larval cases to feed on leaves. The biggest larval case was opened, which contained a caterpillar that was identified and deposited in the Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV) collections. This is the first report of O. kirby defoliating L. speciosa, a plant grown in parking lot and gardens to provide shade and as an ornamental plant for flower production. Oiketicus kirby should be monitored on L. speciosa to determine its potential economic impact on this plant.