GEOMETRIDAE of Australia
GEOMETROIDEA
Loopers, Measuring Worms, Span Worms, Inch Worms, Twig Caterpillars, Emeralds, Waves, Carpets
   
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

GEOMETRIDAE

eggs
 
GEOMETRIDAE

caterpillars
 
GEOMETRIDAE

pupae
 
GEOMETRIDAE

moths
 
GEOMETRIDAE

undersides

There are more than 1,270 named Australian species in GEOMETRIDAE.
Here some notable species are listed here in their subfamilies and tribes.

 
 
ARCHIEARINAE

5 species
ENNOMINAE
except
NACOPHORINI

274 species
 
 
NACOPHORINI

174 species
 
 
GEOMETRINAE

165 species
 
 
LARENTIINAE

271 species
OENOCHROMINAE

241 species
STERRHINAE

140 species

Many of the Caterpillars of GEOMETRIDAE pull their bodies into loops as they move. These Caterpillars lack the first two or three pairs of ventral prolegs, so that looping is their best means of progression. This movement gives them some of their names. Their latin name means "earth measurer". They are often called Inch Worms because they measure off one inch at a time as they progress. This method of progression has been suggested as being specially suitable for moving over rough terrain.

Some Caterpillars of this family are also called Twig Caterpillars because they can raise themselves and stand on their claspers, sticking straight out at an angle, and so looking like a twig.

They mostly pupate in leaf litter or in the soil in a flimsy cocoon.

Many of the adult moths are remarkable for their camouflaged wing patterns. These patterns, often wavy lines, extend across both fore and hind wings. These moths rest with wings outspread, and tightly pressed against the surface on which they are sitting. The curved markings may be the origin of their common name: "Waves": eg


Idaea nephelota ( Clouded Wave)

A large group of the GEOMETRIDAE have green wings: these are called "Emeralds": eg


Chlorocoma carenaria (Veined Emerald)

previous
back
family
Australian
Australian Butterflies
butterflies
Australian
home
caterpillars
Australian
Australian Moths
moths
next
next
family

(updated 29 August 2012, 21 July 2017)