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Identifying Leafrollers, Other Caterpillars, and Katydids

Monitor for the presence of caterpillars from the beginning of bloom (for green fruitworm) through petal fall (for leafrollers), looking for any species that may cause fruit damage. Carefully check young leaves and shoots for the presence of peach twig borer and leafroller larvae and leaf damage. Use a beating tray to catch green fruitworm larvae that drop from the tree as you shake blossom clusters.

Names link to more information on identification and management.

Click on photos to enlarge
Larva of peach twig borer.
Peach twig borer
Identification tip: Darker body segments give older larvae a distinctive ringed appearance.
Young fruittree leafroller larva.
Fruittree leafroller
Identification tip: Green larva with dark head, hangs from silken thread when disturbed.
Larva of obliquebanded leafroller.
Obliquebanded leafroller
Identification tip: Yellowish-green larva with brown head, hangs by thread when disturbed, difficult to distinguish from fruittree leafroller.
Speckled green fruitworm larva.
Green fruitworm
Identification tip: Green larva with pale-green head and several white lines on sides and back.
Western tent caterpillar larva.
Tent caterpillar
Identification tip: The western tent caterpillar is hairy and dull yellow-brown, with a row of blue spots next to orange spots on top of its body.
Larva of the spring cankerworm, Paleacrita vernata.

Identification tip: A cankerworm larva is green with a green head. With only two prolegs, it moves in inchworm fashion.
Forktailed bush katydid.

Identification tip: Nymphs are wingless and have very long antennae that are banded black and white.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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