Spring cankerworm

Insect

Spring cankerworm

Paleacrita vernata (Peck)

Lepidoptera: Geometridae

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


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.

  • Crops Affected: Apples

    Damage

    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.

    Management

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