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name for the larvae of moths of the family Geometridae, a large, cosmopolitan group with over 1,200 species indigenous to North America. Also called measuring worms, spanworms, and loopers, inchworms lack appendages in the middle portion of their body, causing them to have a characteristic looping gait. They have three pairs of true legs at the front end, like other caterpillarscaterpillar
, common name for the larva of a moth or butterfly. Caterpillars have distinct heads and are segmented and wormlike. They have three pairs of short, jointed legs (retained in the adult) on the thorax; in addition, they have unjointed, fleshy appendages, called
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, but only two or three pairs of prolegs (larval abdominal appendages), located at the rear end. An inchworm moves by drawing its hind end forward while holding on with the front legs, then advancing its front section while holding on with the prolegs. Inchworms have smooth, hairless bodies, usually about 1 in. (2.5 cm) long. They are green, brown, or black and in many species have irregular projections that cause them to resemble the twigs of the trees they feed on. Many inchworms, when disturbed, stand erect and motionless on the prolegs, increasing the resemblance. Certain destructive inchworms are called cankerwormscankerworm,
name for two destructive inchworms, or larvae of geometrid moths. The spring cankerworm (Paleacrita vernata) and the fall cankerworm (Alsophila pometaria) are named for the seasons at which the adults emerge from underground pupation.
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. Adult geometrid moths range in wingspread from 3/8 in. to 2 in. (9.5–51 mm). Most are gray or brown with fine patterns and are well camouflaged on trees. The cabbage loopercabbage looper,
moth larva, Trichoplusia ni, that feeds by night on the leaves of cabbage and related plants and is a serious agricultural pest. Like the inchworms (of another moth family), cabbage loopers lack walking appendages in the middle of the body and progress by
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 is not an inchworm, but a caterpillar of a different family. Inchworms are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Lepidoptera, family Geometridae.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A continuously playing cacophony of sights and sounds, this piece showed children shrieking, water gushing, hands clawing a hole in dirt, an inch worm inching across a map, roller skates clattering over the pavement, pigeons pecking practically in your face.
The tracks are "Wheels on the Bus" (4:23), "Froggy Went a Courtin'" (4:33), "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" (5:04), "Bud the Bird" (4:43), "The Alphabet Song" (4:13), "The Inch Worm" (5:11), "Three Blind Mice" (5:49), "Soul Clap" (6:07), "Walter the Weasel" (3:26), and "If You Like Funky Music" (3:55).
You sang: Keep a-inchin' along Lak a po' inch worm. .
Suzanna' and 'America the Beautiful'), "Yodel Lady Who", "My Aunt Came Back", "I Love My Rooster", "Froggy Went A Courtin'", "Shake Your Sillies Out", "The Cat Came Back", "Shoo Fly", "Knees Up Mother Brown", "Cotton Eye Joe", "Patriotic Medley" (Grand Old Flag & Yankee Doodle Dandy), "Country Medley" (Old Gray Mare, Home on the Range, Polly Wolly Doodle, Paw Paw Patch), "Inch Worm" and "Happy Trails To You".
Inch worms. This movement promotes greater flexibility in the hamstrings and hips.