What Do Inchworms Turn Into? [Life Cycle]

Typically, inchworm is a collective standout term applied to a large group of caterpillars. Almost all members or species of this caterpillar transform from larvae to moths. The shape and size of the moth are totally changed from that of larvae. Inchworm is the name of worm in the larval stage after emergence from an egg or cocoon.

What do inchworms turn into? Inchworm is larvae of the Gemetride family of insects. When it grows up and pupates it turns into an adult geometrid moth. This moth has a hard covering to protect itself from predators. It’s different in size and shape from larvae.

The body of the adult moth is cylindrical having broad wings. Its size varies from 1 to 6cm depending on the species. Some are bright in color with a patterned body. They chemoflauged this color to match the surrounding.

What Is an Inchworm

Inchworms are not actually worms, as the name suggests. They are caterpillars with odd-looking bodies having legs at each end. As they move on the branches, their legs help them to grip the leaves. Perhaps they got this nickname as they resemble measuring tape alot.

When they crawl, they shift one part of the body first. With the help of the legs, they move another part of the body. It is interesting to observe them crawling like this on trees.  

What Do Inchworms Turn Into

It is natural to observe animals turning into totally different creatures as they grow. Similarly turning ducks from eggs is a true example of transformation. Many insects also undergo a transformation as they become adults. 

Similar is the case with: What do inchworms turn into? It finally turns into a moth. Inchworm is the first developmental stage of almost all species of moth. It takes 2 to 4 weeks for an inchworm to finally turn into a moth. 

It has to pass through the larva and then to the pupa. The moth finally emerges from pupae in the form of a hard shell around it. This shell further protects the moth from predators as they grow up.

Do Inchworms Turn Into

How do Inchworm Turn Into Moth: Life Cycle

To understand how inchworms grow into moths, you’ll have to learn their life cycle. The life cycle of an inchworm has four stages. Let’s read about what happens in each stage:

Stage:1 Egg

Female moths lay eggs in summer and fall under the branches of trees after mating. The timing of laying eggs depends on whether it’s a fall worm or a spring worm. If the egg-laying moth is a spring inchworm, the pupa will emerge from February to March. If the egg-laying moth is a fall worm, the pupa is likely to emerge in fall, between November and early December. The number of eggs depends on the species. Some species lay single eggs, while others lay in branches. The eggs dont change their place until they hatch.

Stage:2  Larvae

When the eggs hatch, larvae are produced. The larvae of the inchworm have a typical shape of a caterpillar. The distinctive feature of inch larva is a set of two or three prolegs. The front set of prolegs carries the abdomen making an arch and shifts it to the back prolegs. It moves in this way scooting its abdomen from one place to another. The larva feeds alot to turn into pupae. It lives on trees. It will take 2 to 4 weeks for an inchworm to grow as an adult moth.

Stage:3 Pupa

Depending on the type of moth, the larva changes its form again. In early summer, the larva will prepare itself to hang down to the ground through silk threads.  It typically burrows 4-ich down towards the ground via silk threads. The larva is then transformed into pupae by developing a protective cocoon through leaflets and dust. This cocoon shape hard shell helps moths to survive predators. If its falls inchworm, the larva will emerge in early summer. If it’s a spring inchworm, it will wait for next winter to emerge in spring. It will have to stay as pupa to pass the winter. 

Stage:4 Adult Moth

The final stage of the inchworm cycle is changing the larva into moths. Depending on the species of inchwoDoesrm, the moth starts emerging either in late fall or in early spring. The adult can grow about half-inch in length. Female adult moths will not fly because their wings are small. Male moths have a tendency to fly and find females on trees for mating.

How Long Does It Take an Inchworm to Turn Into Moth

How long does it take an inchworm to turn into a moth? It will take 2 to 4 weeks for the larva to develop fully in an adult moth. During this time lava has to eat alot. The type of inchworm matters a lot. The transformation time varies from fall inchworm to spring inchworm. 

The total life span of an inchworm is only 1 year. During this time it has to mate and reproduce. The male larva dies after mating. The female lives to continue the life cycle. 

What Do Brown Inchworm Turn Into

Brown inchworms are mostly spring inchworms. They have yellow vertical stripes along the side of the body. After the larva and pupa stage, the brown inchworm turns into the same or different color adult geometer moths. 

What Do Black Inchworms Turn In

Black inchworms are sometimes spotted and sometimes not. They can befall inchworms or spring inchworms depending on the time they emerge from larva. They also turn into adult geometer moths after 2 to 4 weeks.

What Does a Green Inchworm Turn Into

The inchworms with a green back and white stripes are fall inchworms. They spend 2 to 4 weeks in the larva and pupa stage. After this, they turn into the same or different color adult geometer moth.

Dont forget to read how to get rid of hammerhead worm to upgrade your knowledge!

What Type Of Moth Do Inchworm Turn Into

Typically there are two types of moths inchworm turn into 1-fall inchworm and 2-Spring inchworms. If the inchworm emerges from larvae in the fall, it will develop into a fall moth. If it emerges from larvae in spring, it will develop into spring moths.

What type of moth do inchworms turn into? Inchworms will either turn into fall moths or spring moths. Depending on the time when larvae emerge, they will grow in their respective moth types. 

The larvae will stay on ground to wait for the right time to pupate. The fall larva will pupate in winter, while the spring larva will emerge in early summer.

People Also Ask

What Does an Inchworm Look Like?

Inchworms are segmented, hairless caterpillars. They change shape as they pass from larval stage to adult. The adult inchworm is named a moth. It varies in color depending on the species. It can be brown, green, grey or black. 

Does an Inchworm Turn Into a Moth?

Yes, inchworm always turns into adult moths. After passing through larva and pupa stages in 2 to 4 weeks, the inchworm develops fully to become an adult moth. Almost all types of inchworms grow into moths. 

Can I Keep an Inchworm as a Pet?

Yes, they can hold inchworms as pets. They are less vulnerable and don’t need any special environment. Simply keep them in suitable habitats, and feed them green leaves. Wait for them to complete their life cycle and grow into moths.

Last Lines

If you observe small twig-like creatures on your plants, it’s time to check the yard for the presence of inchworms. They are active eaters of leaves, buds, and flowers. If leaves are chewed, it could be surely inchworms. They will soon turn into moths and reproduce again.

For small-scale eradication of inchworm, you can use homemade insecticides. It is made by mixing chili, or garlic with water. For large-scale eradication use chemical treatment.

Lisa Marshall

Hi, This is Lisa Marshall. Lisa has been working with farmers for over thirteen years. It is his passion, hobby and profession. To facilitate other gardeners from her experience, she has decided to start this website to share her gardening experience with her plant lovers.

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