Currently viewing the category: "Inchworms"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

the hungry catapllers
Location:  satellite beach, fl
August 8, 2010 8:42 am
i found these hungry catapillers. eating away at what left of bushes in my front yard. All I know they black and green with legs in front and back.
neal

Snowbush Spanworms

Hi Neal,
Though we were not familiar with this caterpillar, we quickly identified them as Snowbush Spanworms,
Melanchroia chephise, the caterpillar of the White-Tipped Black, because the caterpillars appeared to have but two sets of prolegs at the hind end, indicating the family Geometridae.  BugGuide provides this information:  “larvae feed on plants in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) such as Breynia and Phyllanthus species.”  We are having a difficult time believing these caterpillars have defoliated your shrubs as depicted in your photographs.  We suspect a rampant chain saw was the real culprit.

Snowbush Spanworm

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillars
May 2, 2010
My niece found these in her garden and I would like to know what kind of caterpillars they are and if they are harmful.
Amy
Miami, Florida

Handfull of (possibly) Azalea Caterpillars

Hi Amy,
These look like they might be Azalea Caterpillars, Datana major, but it is impossible to tell from this photo which obscures many details.  It would also be helpful to know what plant they were found eating upon.  According to BugGuide, “larvae present July to October
” and “larvae feed mainly on leaves of azalea (Rhododendron spp.) but have also been recorded on apple, blueberry, Red Oak, and Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifoloa).”  Would it be possible to get a more detailed image and/or information on the plant they were eating?

Correction:  March 18, 2012
Snowbush Spanworms
Thanks to a comment we just received from Nikki that correctly identified these as Snowbush Spanworms, we are able to link to the BugGuide information page on the species that states:  “larvae feed on plants in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) such as Breynia and Phyllanthus species.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Horned Spanworm
April 18, 2010
Thanks for all the help you’ve given me! But here’s one I found myself that I’d like to share: a horned spanworm (OK, I’m pretty sure that’s what it is). I found it lurking on a maple seedling, and from what I’ve read, was probably responsible for the chew marks on several of the maple leaves (primary habitat is deciduous and coniferous trees). It is interesting to note that between the first picture and the latter pictures, the ‘tentacles’ continued extending (must be camera shy). I found the textured orange patch on his upper back very interesting; I saw it on few of the other photos I viewed. Also, it was very reluctant to uncurl.
Enjoy!
Karen H.
Belleview, FL

Horned Spanworm

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Very, very tiny black caterpillar with white spots
February 8, 2010
‘Ello Bugman!
Today I found a very, very tiny black caterpillar. He’s approx 3mm long and has tiny white spots which first I thought were stripes across his body.
I live in Australia in NSW and it is currently Summer (although has been wet and rainy for a week now).
I don’t know what the plant is. It self-seeded from somewhere and I don’t mind if he eats it all up.
It would be interesting however, to find out what he is, how big he will get and what he is to become.
Thanks!
Bronwyn
Penrith (Western Sydney, NSW Australia)

unknown Inchworm from Australia

Hi Bronwyn,
We can say for certain that this is a Spanworm or Inchworm caterpillar in the family Geometridae, but we would need additional time to determine the species.  Since it is so small, it is an early instar, and it may undergo five additional molts before pupating.  Each molt or instar may have different markings and coloration.  Generally, most caterpillar photos are of the final instar, and it can be quite difficult to properly identify the earlier instars.  Knowing the food plant often helps, but alas, we do not recognize your plant.  As the caterpillar grows, molts and changes, you may send additional images in the hope that would assist in identification.

Host Plant

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A compromised inchworm?
January 6, 2010
I found what I believe is an inchworm clinging to a blackberry leaf with her abdominal prolegs today, January 5.
The problem is, his/her head and thorax/legs are barely recognizable. The head area is almost split in two.
I found some skin on a leaf beside her. I wonder if a moulting process can look this horrible; either that, or could it be that the inchworm hasn’t fully developed? (The latter does not make sense to me, because I realize that insects typically hatch fully developed and simply grow/moult in the larval stage.)
This caterpillar was able to move just fine, as if otherwise healthy, but could only grab things with her prolegs… the head area is really looking bad!
Paul
Southwestern British Columbia, Canada

Unknown Inchworm

Blackberry Looper

Dear Paul,
We are not certain what species of Inchworm this is, and we haven’t the time to research it at the moment.  It is difficult to tell from your photographs if there is anything unusual with the physiognomy.  In the event there was trauma of some sort, a predator perhaps, we are uncertain how long a compromised caterpillar can continue to live.  Perhaps one of our readers has the time to research the species.

Unknown Inchworm

Blackberry Looper

Update
Immediately after posting, we tried to do a websearch of geometridae and blackberry, and we believe this is a Blackberry Looper, Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria, as pictured on BugGuide.  Though the coloration is different, the structure of the head is consistent with your photo.

Hello,
I did read the other emails, and I’m very glad for your answer!
I don’t know how to find it online.
Will need to visit your site more often!
Kind regards,
Paul

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Pink Caterpillar
July 18, 2009
This tiny pink caterpillar moved in inchworm fashion and was particularly interested in the pollen/nectar of my Coreopsis flower. About 3/8″ in length, really tiny.
sankax
Minneapolis, MN

Unknown Pink Inchworm

Unknown Pink Inchworm

Dear sankax,
While we cannot tell you the species, this Inchworm or Spanworm is the caterpillar of a moth in the family Geometridae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination