Location: Sarasota, Florida. (South West Florida)
March 30, 2011 1:10 pm
I was looking through some of my books on caterpillars but couldn’t find this one and also looked on your site but also didn’t come across it and would like to know what it is! It’s a brown/grey color with red spots along the sides. Found it in my backyard. Wasn’t on a plant, but when you pick it up it goes straight like a stick. Found it on 3/30/2011; Afternoon; Currently Humid and windy.
Your caterpillar is in the family Geometridae, and it is commonly called an Inchworm, Spanworm or Measuringworm because of its unusual manner of locomotion. It crawls forward on its six true legs and the loops the rear portion of its body forward with its two pairs of prolegs. Inchworms are also called Loopers. Most caterpillars have five pairs of prolegs, but Inchworms have only two which necessitates this unusual manner of locomotion. We will try to identify your species if we have time by browsing the hundreds of possibilities on BugGuide. Interestingly, we decided in the past few days that the featured Bug of the Month for April 2011 is the Inchworm, so your identification request is quite timely.