geometer moths

(Family (Family Geometridae))

               
Overview Geometer Moths (Family Geometridae) is a very large family of inchworm moths. There are about 35,000 species worldwide, more than 1,400 species in North America north of Mexico. At least 172 species have been reported in Minnesota. They occur almost everywhere and on every continent, including Antarctica. Many are significant pests of orchard and shade trees. Most adults are active at night and will come to lights. The larvae move by extending the front of

geometer moth (Family Geometridae)

  Photo by Alfredo Colon
 

the body forward then bringing the rear of the body up to meet the front, thus creating a “loop”. This is the source of several of the the common names given to the family.

Identification

Geometer moths are small to medium-sized and usually have a slender body. On the forewing, the cubitus (Cu) appears to have 3 branches. The subcosta (Sc), first vein behind the leading margin, and the radius (R) are parallel and either close together or fused together along the side of the discal cell. On the hindwing, the Sc is abruptly angled downward at the base. The antennae may be dilated at the tip or not. If they are, then the eyes are bare, not covered with hairs.

The larvae have only 2 or 3 pairs of false legs (prolegs). These are at the rear end of the body and is the reason for the distinctive mode of travel.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 24, 29, 30.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Geometroidea (inchworm moths)

 

Family:

Geometridae (geometer moths)

 
Subordinate Taxa

blackberry looper (Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria)

chickweed geometer (Haematopis grataria)

common eupithecia (Eupithecia miserulata)

geometer moth (Xanthotype spp.)

simple wave (Scopula junctaria)

stout spanworm moth (Lycia ursaria)

white slant-line (Tetracis cachexiata)

white-striped black (Trichodezia albovittata)

yellow slant-line (Tetracis crocallata)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

cankerworms (larvae)

geometer moths (adults)

geometers (larvae)

inchworms (larvae)

 

loopers (larvae)

measuringworms (larvae)

spanworms (larvae)

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Proleg

A fleshy structure on the abdomen of some insect larvae that functions as a leg, but lacks the five segments of a true insect leg.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  geometer moth (Family Geometridae)   geometer moth (Family Geometridae)
       
  geometer moth (Family Geometridae)    
       
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Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Geometridae
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Geometridae  
 
About

There are over 1,400 species of geometer moths in North America.

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Spanworm Caterpillar of Geometridae
Patrick Wermelinger
 
   
 
About

Sep 16, 2010

The geometer moths or Geometridae are a family of the order Lepidoptera. A very large family, it has around 26,000 species of moths described, filmed with JVC HM-100 music by Roger Subirana Mata - Hope for Rebirth from www.jamendo.com

   
       
  Inchworm: Geometridae caterpillar
The Insect Diary
 
   
 
About

Aug 13, 2016

   
       
  Geometrid Moth Caterpillar (Geometridae)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Jun 8, 2011

To be identified. Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (08 June 2011).

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
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Alfredo Colon
Summer 2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

geometer moth (Family Geometridae)


     
     
 
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Created: 12/30/2019

Last Updated:

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