Currently viewing the category: "Inchworms"

Subject: 2 catepillars
Location: Needville, TX
April 20, 2014 8:42 pm
found these 2 in a park brazos bend park. Curious to know what they are.
Signature: CC

Woolly Gray Spanworm

Woolly Gray Spanworm

Dear CC,
We are splitting your identification request into two distinct postings to better conform to our categorization.  Your first caterpillar, the Inchworm, is a Woolly Gray Spanworm,
Lycia ypsilon, which we quickly identified on BugGuide where it is noted:  “One of only a handful of brightly colored inchworms in the East.”  This is a new species for our archives.

Subject: strange long brown bug!
Location: Wiltshire, England
November 13, 2013 5:05 pm
I’ve just found this clinging onto a photo in my room, looks like a twig but has four stubby legs at the front… Never seen anything like it! Hope you can help! Got to admit I don’t really want him in my room but don’t have the heart to put him outside in winter…
Thankyou! Emily 🙂
Signature: Emily



Hi Emily,
This is the caterpillar of a moth in the family Geometridae.  They often mimic twigs and they are called Inchworms or Spanworms because of the manner in which they move, bunching up the body and then stretching out again.

Subject: strange something found crawling on my house. what is it?
Location: South Central Texas
October 15, 2013 3:21 pm
I found this strange thing crawling on the exterior of my house. I live just west of San Antonio Texas and the time of year was the fall. I was using a z tool to try and grab it off the wall and as soon as I got near, it acted as if it sensed something and kind of stood up on one end as if it was afraid.
Signature: Please tell me what this is. thanks, Nancy K

Possibly Camouflaged Looper

Possibly Camouflaged Looper

Hi Nancy,
Our best guess is that this might be a type of Inchworm Caterpillar known as a Camouflaged Looper
Synchlora frondaria.

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Pittsburgh PA
October 14, 2013 2:27 am
Tiny, black and brown. Little more than half inch? I don’t think he has any hair
Signature: Natalie c



Hi Natalie,
This is an Inchworm or Spanworm, a caterpillar in the family Geometridae.  Caterpillar in this family generally possess but two pairs of prolegs on the rear portion of the abdomen.  Most caterpillars have five pairs of prolegs spread out along the abdomen.  The method of locomotion of Inchworms differs from the typical caterpillar because of the fewer number of prolegs.  BugGuide describes it thus:  “larvae generally have only two pairs of prolegs (at the hind end) rather than the usual five pairs in most lepidoptera; the lack of prolegs in the middle of the body necessitates the peculiar method of locomtion, drawing the hind end up to the thoracic legs to form a loop, and then extending the body forward.”  Inchworms are also called Measuringworms.

Subject: Measuring Worm Moths Inchworm
Location: Okinawa Japan
December 6, 2012 2:08 am
Here is another copy of the image I sent in for request before I realized that this is the inch worm for the moth images I sent. I am not sure if you want to put it with the moth images or if you want to put it in the caterpillar area. I took this shot in May of 2010 in Okinawa.
Signature: Richelle

Inchworm: Milionia basalis

Dear Richelle,
Thanks so much for resending this image.  We never recall seeing it, but on busy days, we can only read a fraction of the mail that arrives.  This is a marvelous addition to the adult
Milionia basalis you have already submitted.

Subject: catterpillar
Location: Cyprus
November 18, 2012 2:30 am
i took this a while ago in Cyprus which is an island in the Mediterranean and i cannot identify it but am curious.
Signature: tatiana h

Apochima flabellaria Caterpillar

Dear Tatiana,
We have already spent some time this morning in an attempt to identify the three different caterpillars from Cyprus that you have requested assistance with identifying, but we haven’t had any luck.  This spiny caterpillar has us most curious.  It appears to have only two legs like the Inchworms or Measuring Worms in the moth family Geometridae, but we are not convinced it even belongs in that family.  We thought a caterpillar this distinctive would be easier to identify, but alas, we have come up blank.  Can you provide any additional information?  Your photos indicate you found at least two individuals.  Were they found on any particular plant?

Apochima flabellaria Caterpillar

One photo has them in the sand.  The photos also indicate that they curl into a ball for protection and the spines would keep them from being swallowed by predators such as birds.  None on your caterpillars are represented on this Insects of Cyprussite we found.  We are relatively certain that this is the caterpillar of a moth and that it might be in the family Geometridae.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with an identification. 

Unknown Caterpillars

Update:  November 18, 2012
Thanks to a comment from Ben from Israel, we now know that this is
Apochima flabellaria, a member of the family Geometridae that Ben says is commonly called the Mediterranean Brindled Beauty, a name that is used on European Butterflies and Moths.  We did find images of the caterpillar on TrekNature and Lepidoptera Pro.