Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Inchworm That Looks Like a Twig

Maple Spanworm - Ennomos magnaria
The only reason I saw this caterpillar is because it was hanging from a silk line over a path at eye level. It's another member of the Geometridae, which make up a large part of our spring time lepidopterans (never mind the butterflies, they're nothing compared to this group in terms of numbers).  I found it hanging from an Amur Maple; according to the "Caterpillars of Eastern North America" it eats leaves from a wide variety trees and shrubs.  It'll spend the summer as a pupa, emerging as a moth in the late summer or early fall.  While the caterpillar is a twig mimic, the adult moth mimics dead leaves.  The eggs overwinter.


  1. I have a twig worm on my pot plant in my house. He seems quite happy eating my African Violet.Can I leave him there.I watch him everyday.Is there anything else I must give him?

  2. Maybe spray the leaves with water occassionally. Enjoy!

  3. I'm sorry but I want to get rid of my inchworms that look like twigs. They are ruining my Redbud and my new shrubs. What can I use to rid of them before they completely eat all the leaves? By the way, we have had a huge problem in my area with all kinds of inchworms the last few years. They have almost killed my huge old maple tree. This year was the first year there hasn't been a gazillion of them, but now the Twig worms...... Thanks.

  4. I killed one today and green stuff came out i probably picked up a few and tossed them thinking that they where twigs ewwww......

  5. Is this a good thing in the garden; twig worm?

    1. I have one and I have thrown that darn thing 21 times and he still won't stop
      eatingn my pants should I get rid of it