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Spring cankerworm

Paleacrita vernata (Peck)
Lepidoptera: Geometridae

The adult male is gray and has winding lines on its forewings; the female has stumpy gray wings (A). The larva is pale green to dark brown with two yellow longitudinal bands on the sides (B). It moves in a looping inchworm fashion.


Most fruit-growing states and provinces in eastern North America.


Attacks apple and other fruit trees. Larvae feed on foliage (B, arrows) and developing fruit (C). They devour the entire leaf except for the veins.


These insects cause few problems. The removal and destruction of affected branches is usually sufficient to eliminate the caterpillars observed on the trees.

Pest and Beneficials Search (search again)

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.