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Green pug

Chloroclystis rectangulata (L.)
Lepidoptera: Geometridae

The adult is a grayish moth with mottled or scalloped dark striations toward the wing margins (A). The larva is a green inchworm with a dark head and a dark reddish brown dorsal mid-line present in later instars (B).


NS and QC south to New England, NY, and NJ.


Attacks apple and possibly pear. In spring, the larvae feed on buds, flowers, and occasionally developing leaves. When abundant, they can defoliate trees, causing reduced growth and loss of crop, especially on young trees and new grafts.

Similar Species

Resembles the winter moth (Operophtera brumata), particularly in the first 2 instars, but may be distinguished by distribution and larval coloration (a single reddish dorsal stripe in later instars, as opposed to several white stripes in the winter moth).


Normally not a serious problem in regularly sprayed orchards; the early feeding tends to thin out fruit buds before they are pollinated. If necessary, an insecticide application shortly before the beginning of bloom will control larval infestations.

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