Subject: Inchworm Mayhem
Location: Mumbai, India
April 29, 2015 7:34 am
Dear Bugman,
These inchworms have wreaked havoc in my tiny balcony garden, fairly shredding my spider-plants to bits. Could you help id? I understand from your site that inchworms are geometrid moths caterpillars. It’s full summer now in India, and the photos are today’s (April 29). Another couple of days and it would’ve been ‘May’hem quite literally and figuratively 😀
Signature: Ankush



Dear Ankush,
Is your Spider Plant a Chlorophytum species like that posted on Wikipedia?  Knowing the food plant is often a big help with identifying caterpillars and other plant feeding insects.  We attempted a search with the genus name of the Spider Plant and the family name Geometridae, but to no avail.  You image is stunning and clearly shows the looping action the Inchworm uses to move about, a result of having fewer sets of prolegs than the typical caterpillar.

Location: Mumbai, India

2 Responses to Inchworms from India

  1. Ankush says:

    Thanks for the prompt reply! Yes, Chlorophyta: C. comosum and (I think) C. bichetii… they are the only plants on attacked. This has been a recurrent problem – year on year around this time -however it was only recently that I managed to track these guys down. Brilliant camouflage – they have been hiding in plain sight by standing as straight and rigid as twigs, maintaining the guise even when handled. While I allow other caterpillars to munch away, these guys are way too destructive as they basically cut across the central vein of the leaf for the smaller bichetii, causing it to fall off and die vs. just making holes. Necessary carnage, sorry!

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