What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Weird bright green swirly-curly-backed worm(?)
July 22, 2009
Hi, there, Bugman! Love this site… it’s been quite helpful in the past, but I have been unable to find this on here. I’m in Western PA (Pittsburgh) and found this on my potted Impatients. Last week (mid July) when I was dead-heading them, I didn’t notice it and it pulled back! -Totally freaked me-out! So I pulled it off and took some pics. Unfortunately, the plumbers came right then and I didn’t have the presence of mind to keep the little bugger, just tossed him off the porch. Never seen another since. Any ideas? Are they going to override my plants eventually? Destructive? How do I get rid of them should I see more? Thanks for any help on this!
Theresa Jones
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

thing

seed pod

Hi Theresa,
We haven’t a clue as to what this is.  Readership, help us.

thing

seed pod

Holey Moley!  didn’t think the Bugman could be stumped… At least all my friends who were also clueless won’t feel so stupid. 🙂
I’ll keep checking in on the site, but if possible, I’d appreciate an email if some info comes to light.  (if that’s not possible, I understand, though)
Thanks again for your efforts!
Best Regards,
Theresa Jones

Karl solves the Mystery
Ripe impatiens seed pods explode rather violently, on their own or when they are touched. The green curly thing is what’s left behind. Regards. K

Thanks Karl,
We aren’t even entomologists, much less botanists, but we were relatively certain this was not animalian.

Um, yeah,
That’s a seedpod from an Impatients plant (oddly enough, where it was found.)  My mother used to have them in a basket on the porch and those pods would pop when the conditions were right, spreading the seeds by a little ol’ spring action.  I always thought they were pretty cool, because when they were ripe you could set them off with a touch, which is probably what startled Ms. Jones.  So in the end… flora not fauna.  The fact that this is the first one she’s seen though, means she is probably really good at keeping up with dead-heading.
Weston Tulloch
Bay City, MI

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

4 Responses to Unknown Thing is Impatiens Seedpod

  1. kkroeker says:

    Hi Theresa:

    Ripe impatiens seed pods explode rather violently, on their own or when they are touched. The green curly thing is what’s left behind. Regards. K

  2. tjones3366 says:

    Wow, thanks, Karl! I’m new to the whole gardening thing (so I’m new to all sorts of bugs and crawlies, too) I’d swear it pulled back, but hey – a startle is a startle… Then the part left looked like a worm to me… Boy am I embarrassed! I sure appreciate that readers in-the-know are so helpful!

    Thanks, again & thanks to you, too Bugman!

  3. Mike Whalen says:

    I’m shocked! I thought these green things were leaf and stalk eating bugs on my impatiens. I have the most beautiful bed of impatiens you’ve ever seen! This is my first time with growing flowers! After having seen these things that I thought were bugs I’m delighted to discover that are seed pods! Thanks!

  4. Mandy says:

    I used to love these as a kid

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