Subject: Catapillar invasion
Location: Pacifica CA
October 26, 2014 2:42 pm
I have been invaded by hundreds of these catapillars around the outside of my house … Can you please give me some info on these critters – thanks !
Your caterpillar is known as a Sophora Worm, the larval form of the Genista Broom Moth, Uresiphita reversalis, and you can verify our identification by viewing this matching image on BugGuide. According to Bugguide: “‘Sophora Worm’ is reference to the native host genus: Sophora. ‘Genista Broom Moth’ is an odd common name for a native North American moth as Genista (common name of ‘broom’) is an Old World genus, family Fabaceae.” BugGuide also notes: “Larvae feed on Acacia, Baptisia, Genista, Lupinus, Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) and other pea family shrubs. Also reported on Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) and honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)” so we are speculating that one of those plants might be growing in your yard.