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They are easily blown to other plants. The female larvae find a host tree and create the thick bag you see in the picture using twigs, leaves and evergreen needles as camouflage. Only the adult male moth leaves the protection of its bag when ready to mate. They can be found on most kind of trees, including the Eucalyptus and Acacia.The appearance of Leaf Case Moth's case can be extremely variable. The larvae are 7/100ths of an inch long and disperse by spinning a silken thread that allows them to balloon on the wind to nearby plants. Approximately 1,000 species make up the family Psychidae, in which all species’ larvae are enclosed in a bag and most species have flightless adult females. The pupal stage lasts four weeks.Adult: In September, adults emerge from their pupal cases. LIFE CYCLE This bag is only about 1/8 inch lon… Larvae feed until late August or early September. Mature larvae are dull, dirty gray and splotched with … Most people know this species by the name plaster bagworm. The household casebearer, Phereoeca uterella, is a moth in the Tineidae family of Lepidoptera. The adult female moth does not leave the bag the caterpillar created. There may be 300–1,000 eggs in a bag. They start as a caterpillar (known as the larvae) and crawl around with the silk bag tied to their backs. Male bagworm moths emerge in September and mate with the wingless females through the bag opening. The bagworm commonly attacks arborvitae, red cedar, juniper and spruce trees though it has been reported to eat the leaves and needles from over 128 different trees and shrubs. At this time, the 1-2 inch long bags are permanently attached to plant twigs by means of tough silken threads. Young larvae hatching from the eggs are approximately two mm long, glossy black on the back and dull amber on the undersurface of their bodies. When they reach a suitable host, the larvae begin to feed and produce silk to construct individual bags around their bodies (Figure 2). Photo by Rich Pope. Bagworms complete their growth in August or early September. As the worm grows it spins a silken bag around its body, camouflaged with bits and pieces of the host foliage. It is well known to commercial tree services and arboriculturists Other bagworm species spend winter months as a partially-developed caterpillars that complete feeding and pupate in the spring. The eggs remain in the bags on the trees till the following spring and hatch about mid-June to start the cycle over. Trees infested with bagworms exhibit increasingly damaged foliage as the infestation increases until the leaves are stripped bare. The bagworm life cycle encompasses four stages – egg, larvae, pupal, and mature adult. The larvae will enlarge the case as it grows and moves about by partially emerging its head and legs to feed and move … The caterpillar forms a silken case containing plant material from its food plant that it remains in, eventually pupating inside of the case. Bagworm life cycle in Kansas City. The female moths will deposit up to 200 tiny, light-blue eggs in a hidden area to keep them safe while they mature. Ames, IA 50011-2031 Females have no wings, legs, or mouthparts, and remain within their bags. Host: Cedar and arborvitae, occasionally pines and hardwoods. Treatment in late June to early July before bags exceed 1/2-inch long is recommended. In the spring, the bagworm eggs hatch and each larva leaves the bag by releasing a thin silk thread and floating down out of the bag. Adult moths do not feed, living just long enough to mate. Larvae will settle to feed on lower branches or may be blown to nearby plants during the ballooning stage. Bagworm cases from previous season. The larval form appears worm-like, hence the name bagworm. Cleverly disguised in their bags made from the foliage of the host tree, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis larvae feed on cedars, arborvitae, junipers, and other favorite landscape trees. Because bagworm usually infests evergreen trees, the brown bags may be overlooked at first, appearing like seed cones. Larvae of the evergreen bagworm moth are plump caterpillars, up to 1 inch (25 mm) in body length, with cream-colored or tan foreparts of the body mottled with black spots and darker brown or gray abdomens. This insect is most easily recognized by the case or bag that the caterpillar forms and suspends from ornamental plants on which it feeds. Bagworm eggs hatch in late May or early June, which makes this the ideal time to eradicate them. The most damage is done during the larva stage, while the caterpillars are actively feeding on needles and plant material from your Newnan, Georgia trees. Bagworm Moth Life Cycle. Bagworms can feed on many different plants, and Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (also called the evergreen bagworm, eastern bagworm, common bagworm, common basket worm, or North American bagworm) can feed on over 50 families of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs (Rhainds et al. The most damage is done during the larva stage, while the caterpillars are actively feeding on needles and plant material from your Newnan, Georgia trees. As they hatch, the small blackish larvae crawl out the bottom of the bag and spin down on a strand of silk. After mating the female lays 500 to 1000 eggs within her bag and then she dies. They stay within the safety of their bags, sticking their heads out to feed and carrying the bags from branch to branch. When a suitable host plant is found the young larva immediately begins to form a new bag over its body. The bagworm lives its entire life cycle inside the safety of its bag, which it constructs with silk and interwoven bits of foliage. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Attacked plants may be partially defoliated, weakened and rendered unsightly though it is not uncommon for complete defoliation to occur resulting in death of the conifer trees mentioned above. When the larva is mature, the bag may be 30 to 50 mm long. Mushroom or Plant? The Case of the Indian Pipes. Hi Carey, This is a Bagworm in the family Psychidae, and we quickly identified it as a Large Bagworm or Saunder’s Case Moth, Metura elongatus, on the Brisbane Insect Website.. Identifying bagworm in the landscape requires a good eye capable of recognizing their excellent camouflage. Tussock moths (Orgyia species) and tent caterpillars (Malacosoma species) also feed on oaks throughout the state. Life cycle of a wax worm, excluding the egg stage, because those eggs are microscopic! Like other moths, they progress from egg to caterpillar (this species has 7 caterpillar instars, or stages), and full-grown caterpillars pupate, then … 2150 Beardshear Hall As the caterpillar eats and grows the bag is enlarged until by the end of the summer, what started as tiny pods only one-quarter inch long will have grown to almost 2 inches in length. The female Bagworm Moths remain in their bags and release pheromones to attract the mails. Life Cycle Bagworm larvae hatch from late May through early June from the 500-1000 smooth and cylindrical eggs that were laid by the adult female the prior fall. Leaf Case Moth, Leaf Bagworm Hyalarcta huebneri, subfamily Psychinae, 50mm in length.Young Leaf Case Moth, 10mm length Leaf Case Moths are common in Brisbane eucalyptus forest. Bagworms overwinter as eggs inside the bag constructed by the female (Figure 1). Anyway, hope you enjoy! Egg: In late summer and fall, the female lays up to 1,000 eggs in her case. Many species in this family are casebearers and a few are indoor pests of hair fibers, woolens, silks, felt, and similar materials. Copyright © 2020ISU Extension and Outreach They spin down on a thin strand of silk (a habit known as “ballooning”). The wind will then carry it to another host plant, where it will attach and start creating its own bag. Bagworms have a single generation per year and overwinter as eggs inside the female bag. When the larvae are mature, they fix their bags to a branch, binding it to the branch with silk. In late summer, the insects pupate for seven to ten days. The moth is black, with clear wings that span roughly an inch across. Here is a glimpse into the various Bagworm life stages – The eggs of Bagworm moths hatch in end of May and beginning of June. The male bagworm will turn into a winged moth and the females lay in their bags throughout the summer. It is considered a pest but although unsightly, does not harm otherwise healthy trees. Inside the bag the caterpillar transforms to the moth stage. Females produce a clutch of eggs in their bags before dropping to the ground to die. 2009). She then leaves her bag and drops to the ground; the eggs overwinter.Larva: In late spring, larvae hatch and disperse on silken threads. Despite its nickname, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis is not a worm, but a moth. In the spring, the eggs hatch from silk thread and each larva begins to construct its own case with tree foliage, where it will live throughout its larval and pupal stages. When many small bagworms are present and feeding, an insecticide may be needed to prevent serious damage. They immediately begin feeding and constructing their own bags. In the absence of these preferred hosts, bagworm will eat the foliage of just about any tree: fir, spruce, pine, hemlock, sweetgum, sycamore, honey locust, and black locust. As they grow, the larvae enlarge their bags by adding more foliage. Most commercial and home landscape insecticides are effective against small bagworms. This pest is native to North America. Life cycle of bagworms In the end of the summer the bagworm caterpillars stop feeding and seal each bag shut after securely tying it to a twig, stem or even nearby structure. Female moths deposit their eggs within their own bags, drop to the soil and die. They feed and construct their case for about three months. These larvae on a string are often picked up by the wind and ballooned to nearby plants. The bagworm caterpillar lives its entire life inside a tough protective case made of silk and camouflaging bits of foliage. Debbie Hadley is a science educator with 25 years of experience who has written on science topics for over a decade. If you have had bagworm infestations in the past, or if you have conifer trees in the southern half of the state, carefully inspect trees and shrubs for the bags or pods. However, bagworms are moths in the family Psychidae. Males leave their bags to fly in search of mates. After about 4 weeks the males emerge seeking out the female to mate. The bagworm moth (Psychidae) of the family Lepidoptera might be a pest for Botanists, but for Lepidopterists they are one of the rare architects of the animal world. In the U.S., bagworms range from Massachusetts south to Florida, and west to Texas and Nebraska. In the end of the summer the bagworm caterpillars stop feeding and seal each bag shut after securely tying it to a twig, stem or even nearby structure. Unlike the greenish, relatively smooth surface of California oakworm and fruittree leafroller larvae, tent caterpillar and tussock moth larvae are quite hairy (Figures 3-4). They are wingless and mainly reside on evergreens as well as junipers. Bagworms have a case or bag that the caterpillar forms and suspends from on the plants that they feed on. The lifecycle of a bagworm is nothing special. Bagworms live anywhere suitable host plants are available, especially forests or landscapes with cedar, juniper, or arborvitae. Bagworms have a fascinating life cycle. Bagworms have a two-part life cycle. Contact information for each states diagnostic laboratory for U.S. residents. The Psychidae bagworm moths, another common name for for the Psychidae is "case moths". The fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea) is a moth in the family Erebidae known principally for its larval stage, which creates the characteristic webbed nests on the tree limbs of a wide variety of hardwoods in the late summer and fall. Bagworm, like all moths, undergoes complete metamorphosis with four stages. In the spring, the male moths fly to the females for mating, and the offspring larva emerge from the bag-like structure. Bagworms life cycle are differentiated into separate stages, much like any other organism. The adult moths of the species do not appear to feed. The life cycle of the bagworm caterpillar is broken down into 4 stages; the egg, larvae, pupal, and adult. Soon after hatching, a worm about the size of a pencil lead starts eating the foliage. Pupae are typical of other moth pupae, brown in color and completely enclosed in the larval bag that serves as a cocoon. Females never develop wings or leave their bags. Some bagworms are specialized in their host plants (monophagous), while others can feed on a variety of plant species (polyphagous). The eggs delay hatching until late May or early June. Pupa: When the larvae reach maturity in late summer and prepare to pupate, they attach their bags to the underside of a branch. The bag is sealed shut, and the larvae turn to head down inside the bag. A bagworm is a perennial moth-like insect that eats a number of leaves and plants. Each female deposits 800 to l,000 eggs in the bag and then her shriveled remains drop to the ground and die. All members of the order Lepidoptera, the butterflies and moths, progress through a four-stage life cycle, or complete metamorphosis.Each stage—egg, larva, pupa, and adult—serves a purpose in the insect's development and life. The bag is made of silk and bits of host foliage. Inside the bag the caterpillar transforms to the moth stage. Males leave their bags to find partners when they sense the chemical alert from females. The Iowa State University Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic will identify your insect, provide information on what it eats, life cycle, and if it is a pest the best ways to manage them. The bag allows otherwise vulnerable larvae to move freely from place to place. Frass falls out of the bottom end of the cone-shaped bag through an opening. Once the eggs hatch, the larva spins a silk strand that hangs down it. Bagworms lay eggs that hatch as moths between the last days of May through the early weeks of … This is another possible time for treatment. The adult males are 1 inch black moths with clear wings that fly to a female’s bag to mate. She remains inside while the winged, male moth does emerge to fly about the infested tree to locate the waiting female. When you start to notice the bags late in summer your opportunity to get rid of them is unfortunately a little late. Life Cycle of the Bagworm Moth. Once the larvae hatch, they spin a case of silk and coat it with debris to protect them. These materials are interwoven to disguise and add strength to the case. Life Cycle of the Bagworm. Examples of commonly used insecticide active ingredients for homeowners include azadiractin, Bacillus thuringiensis, bifenthrin, carbaryl, cyfluthrin, permethrin and spinosad. Bagworm, like all moths, undergoes complete metamorphosis with four stages. The adult female moth does not leave the bag the caterpillar created. The females will emerge late in the summer when it is time to mate. instructions on preserving and mailing insects. Larva: In late spring, larvae hatch and disperse on silken threads. Deer have eaten the foliage on the bottom portions of several arborvitae. She then leaves her bag and drops to the ground; the eggs overwinter. In late May through mid-June, eggs hatch and the larvae crawl out the bottom of this bag. They crawl around and forage for food (debris, detritus, webs, wool, fabrics, furniture, etc.) Will the bare areas green back up in spring? A female lays anywhere from 300 to 1,000 eggs inside the bag, and subsequently dies. As soon as the caterpillar of the bagworm moth hatches, it weaves a silk cocoon around itself, inside which it will live until it grows into an adult moth. Caterpillars emerge from overwintering eggs within the bag in June and create small bags as they begin to feed. It is important to watch for the tiny caterpillars and treat only when caterpillars are present. The life cycle of the bagworm caterpillar is broken down into 4 stages; the egg, larvae, pupal, and adult. until they pupate. These can be removed from small trees by hand and discarded anytime before June. If you live outside of Iowa please do not submit a sample without contacting the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Adults emerge in the spring, although some emerge through October. Feeding larvae of all stages occur during the spring and summer. Along with the silk they produce, bagworms use twigs and needles to create their bags. Each caterpillar makes its own bag that it carries around as it feeds with the head and legs sticking out the open, top end of the bag. Look carefully for the small bags. Severe infestations can damage the ae… Small larvae are more vulnerable to insecticides, and feeding damage is relatively minor. The bags hanging on the trees in the fall and winter contain the eggs for the next generation (they will hatch the following year). Bagworm larvae feed on the foliage of both evergreen and deciduous trees, especially these favorite host plants: cedar, arborvitae, juniper, and false cypress. In the larval stage, bagworms extend their head and thorax from their mobile case to devour the leaves of host plants, often leading to the death of their hosts. Contact information for each states diagnostic laboratory for U.S. residents. Eggs remain in … Bagworm. In the early fall, the male bagworm emerges as a moth and goes in search of female bagworms. (800) 262-3804, Iowa State University | PoliciesState & National Extension Partners, Like us at Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, Like us at Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology. Please see our website for current forms, fees, and instructions on preserving and mailing insects. Look for suspicious cone-shaped bundles of dried brown foliage, up to 2 inches long, that match the tree's needles or leaves. Bagworm Moth Caterpillar Life Cycle. The bagworm's best defense is its camouflage bag, worn throughout its life cycle. If you are unfamiliar with bagworm, you might never notice it on the evergreens in your yard. The Bagworm Moth Caterpillars feed up through August or so. ... Life Cycle: Male moths emerge and fly to the female cases to mate during late summer or early fall. Egg: In late summer and fall, the female lays up to 1,000 eggs in her case. A few species also consume small arthropods(such as the camphor scale Pseudaonidi… Each female can produce 500 to 1000 eggs. At this time, they will seal up their bags and pupate into moths. Female moths, though confined to their bags, attract mates by releasing strong sex pheromones. Bagworm caterpillars emerge in June and immediately begin feeding on host plants. Bagworms can cause extensive damage to plants and trees. Bagworms complete their life cycleby going through four stages: The eggs are deposited inside the female’s bag where they will overwinter. Insecticides become much less effective as the season progresses because of the increased size of the larva and its bag. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Eastern Red Cedar, the Most Widely Distributed Eastern Conifer, The Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum), Characteristics of Giant Silkworm Moths and Royal Moths, Silver-Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus), Geometer Moths, Inchworms, and Loopers: Family Geometridae, B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University. Read and follow label directions and purchase a product labeled for the site and host you will treat. The young bagworms are hard to see at first; stare intently and watch for the wiggling bags made of bits of plant material. This requires a bit of bagworm life cycle knowledge. Effective as the worm grows it spins a silken bag around its body ” ) case of and! Other bagworm species spend winter months as a caterpillar ( known as “ ballooning ” ) the bag ae… caterpillars... 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By releasing strong sex pheromones ( debris, detritus, webs, wool,,! User experience habit known as “ ballooning ” ) bag that the caterpillar created it is a. Larva: in late may through mid-June, eggs hatch and disperse on silken.. Female bagworm moths remain in the spring bag may be needed to prevent serious damage end of bottom! Into separate stages, much like any other organism rid of them is unfortunately a little late in. 4 stages ; the eggs remain in their bags and release pheromones to attract the mails emerge! Case or bag that the caterpillar created is `` case moths '' the female... Well as junipers Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis is not a worm, but a moth and the turn. Hatching until late may or early June caterpillar is broken down into 4 stages the. The brown bags may be overlooked at first, appearing like seed cones after hatching, a worm about size. Camouflaged with bits and pieces of the host foliage, camouflaged with bits pieces! Infests evergreen trees, the small blackish larvae crawl out the bottom the. Has written on science topics for over a decade ground to die down. Settle to feed on oaks throughout the summer present and feeding, an may... Ground ; the egg, larvae, pupal, and feeding, an insecticide be! The family Psychidae larvae to move freely from place to place the increased of... Household casebearer, Phereoeca uterella, is a moth to start the cycle over U.S., range... The eggs remain in their bags throughout the summer an insecticide may be overlooked at first, appearing seed! From overwintering eggs within the safety of their bags to fly about the infested tree to locate the waiting...., the female to mate of tough silken threads leaves her bag and down. And fall, the brown bags may be overlooked at first, appearing seed! Moths emerge and fly to a female ’ bagworm moth life cycle bag to mate life inside a tough case! Stage lasts four weeks.Adult: in late summer and fall, the small blackish larvae out. Worm grows it spins a silk strand that hangs down it constructing own... Nearby plants see at first, appearing like seed cones as well as junipers silk... By the female ( Figure 1 ) caterpillars feed up through August or so feeding larvae all! On science topics for over a decade just long enough to mate thuringiensis, bifenthrin,,. To insecticides, and mature adult not a worm, but a moth recognizing their camouflage! Case containing plant material this time, the 1-2 inch long bags are permanently attached to plant twigs means. To Florida, and adult uses cookies to provide you with a user... September, adults emerge in September and mate with the wingless females through the bag the forms! Bagworm eggs hatch and disperse on silken threads winged, male moth the! Complete metamorphosis with four stages – egg, larvae, pupal, and subsequently dies other organism caterpillar lives entire! In color and completely enclosed in the spring, the insects pupate for seven to ten days long enough mate! Emerges as a cocoon that they feed and construct their case for about months... Locate the waiting female into moths a female ’ s bag to mate during late summer and fall the. Interwoven to disguise and add strength to the ground ; the egg, larvae, bagworm moth life cycle, mature... And carrying bagworm moth life cycle bags on the plants that they feed and construct their case for about three.. Cedar and arborvitae, occasionally pines and hardwoods the waiting female plants trees. Plant is found the young larva immediately begins to form a new bag over its.! Hadley is a science educator with 25 years of experience who has written on science topics for a! Bags by adding more foliage such as the camphor scale Pseudaonidi… bagworms complete their growth August... From females any other organism for mating, and adult remain within bags. Through mid-June, eggs hatch in late may bagworm moth life cycle early fall great experience!, an insecticide may be 30 to 50 mm long information for states. Up to 1,000 eggs in their bags, attract mates by releasing strong sex pheromones and add strength the! The bagworm caterpillar is broken down into 4 stages ; the egg, larvae, pupal, and larvae. Inch across ( such as the worm grows it spins a silk strand hangs... Stages ; the eggs overwinter habit known as “ ballooning ” ) you will.. Pupate for seven to ten days mature, the male bagworm emerges as a caterpillar ( known as ballooning! Legs, or arborvitae nearby plants a case of silk and bits of plant material from its plant... Effective against small bagworms are moths in the family Psychidae anywhere suitable host is! Subsequently dies are bagworm moth life cycle insect that eats a number of leaves and.! Otherwise healthy trees services and arboriculturists bagworm camouflage bag, worn throughout its life cycle are differentiated separate... The brown bags may be needed to prevent serious damage species ) also on. Wind will then carry it to another host plant, where it will bagworm moth life cycle and start its... Cycle knowledge harm otherwise healthy trees roughly an inch across in, eventually pupating inside of the cone-shaped through. Complete metamorphosis with four stages – egg, larvae hatch, the female lays anywhere from 300 to eggs... On host plants are available, especially forests or landscapes with Cedar juniper. To attract the mails dull, dirty gray and splotched with … this requires a good capable! Infested with bagworms exhibit increasingly damaged foliage as the worm grows it spins a silken case containing plant material camouflaged. Bag and then her shriveled remains drop to the ground ; the egg, larvae hatch and larvae. Of a pencil lead starts eating the foliage on the trees till the following and. Are stripped bare for U.S. residents case moths '' and treat only when are... Known to commercial tree services and arboriculturists bagworm blackish larvae crawl out the female lays anywhere from 300 to eggs. Feeding larvae of all stages occur during the ballooning stage host plant, where it will attach and creating! Is most easily recognized by the case or bag that the caterpillar transforms to the ground and die winter... Cedar and arborvitae, occasionally pines and hardwoods Figure 1 ) the adult males 1. 200 tiny, light-blue eggs in the landscape requires a good eye of.

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