Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Looper

Many of the looper caterpillars (aka inchworms) of the forest are stick mimics. When disturbed, they hold their body rigid like a small twig. In this way, they blend with their surroundings. The loopers have an abdomen that is flexible and curls to form a loop. The caterpillar grasps the twig with its true legs or its prolegs. By alternating its grip between front and rear, it “inches” along the plant.

Douglas Florian has a poem in his book, Insectlopedia, that describes the movement of the inchworm:

The Inchworm

I inch, I arch, I march along.
I’m just a pinch, a mere inch long.
I stroll and stick on sticks in thickets,
And never pick up speeding tickets.

-Douglas Florian



About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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