Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Inchworm...check out this little dude I found on a sedum stem. Turns out, this "inchworm" is actually a "looper"of the family geometridae, and are moth larvae as well as "important pests" http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/insects/cateast/loopers.htm . Gee, I don't know.....he just looks like a cute little wormy to me....
...of course I may feel differently if I catch him eating this sedum...but for now he stays. Besides, I like moths, too! BTW...I'm trying to determine exactly which moth this looper is larvae for...will post result when my research is done....
Update....okay, after much online research to try and ID this worm, I know 2 things: there are a gazillion different caterpillars of all kinds, including loopers....and entemology is really interesting....yes, that's all I know. It looks similar to loopers I found on several websites, but no concrete match. So I give up...for now. (This is why I'm not an entemologist-after awhile I'd get frustrated and say "Screw it! This is "green worm number two!" ;-)

11 comments:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I pulled out one of my favorite books ("Garden Insects of North America") and I think that you might have either a "bruce spanworm" or a "spring cankerworm"... google image those and see what you think. Both are supposed to be active at this time of the year in your area.

By the way, is that sedum 'Matrona'? I love the purple stems. :)

chuck b. said...

For ID, I use The Gardeners Bug Book by Cynthia Westcott--buy it for cheap used on Amazon or AbeBooks because it's out of print.

Spring cankerworm (Paleacrita vernata) is a pest of fruit and shade trees. Non-pest caterpillars in the Geometridae are called loopers and spanworms.

You'll need to find the adult moth to ID it for sure. Then you can look at this fabulous gallery of geometer moths on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_gallery_of_Geometridae

I must say, as a regular reader, collecting caterpillars and waiting for their metamorphoses sounds like a project that's right up your alley!

:)

chuck b. said...

More great pictures, btw.

lisa said...

Thanks Chuck! I've thought about doing a metamorphasis project, but I have an aversion to keeping things in cages or jars...it just bothers me. Never used to, but once I spent time in jail, I cannot do that to another creature. (May sound funny coming from "porcupine slayer", but I wouldn't cage HIM long-term, either!) BTW, my time was for DUI, not murder. ;-)

lisa said...

Kim-thanks for the info! The sedum IS 'Matrona'...good eye!

lisa said...

Okay...the thing that bothers me about identifying this worm is that none of the pictures are exactly right...some show thin white stripes, mottling, and some a different body color. None seem to show his all-white belly...*sigh*...I know I'm a spaz, and there are different variations...but it still bugs me!
Heh...bugs bug me...ha!

chuck b. said...

Yeah, I just don't think you can ever identify the *caterpillar*. You have to see the moth. Some insects are not identifiable at all stages of of life (unless you have sophisticated genetics tools). :)


And the caterpillar won't know it's in a jar. They have really tiny brains, and very limited emotional lives. :)

Gotta Garden said...

Look at all this help you're getting! Well, I think you made a good effort and green worm number two works for me!

lisa said...

Chuck-thanks...I guess the little guy wouldn't really be scarred for life if I let him morph in the jar and turned him loose afterward...silly the goofy stuff I can get hung up on, but then I'm opening fire on something! No wonder guys tend to think women are crazy!

Thanks GG!

Mimi said...

My sentiments exactly -- "green work number-two" works perfectly fine for me!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

"They have really tiny brains, and very limited emotional lives. :)" Hmm. Sounds like some guys I've dated!

If it helps, the "bruce spanworm" is mentioned as being variable. I'll post all of the text that I have on it when I get back to my book at home.