How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pest identification and confirmation—Green fruitworm

At least ten species of relatively large green caterpillars can be included in the green fruitworm group; the most important in California are the speckled green fruitworm, Orthosia hibisci, and the humped green fruitworm, Amphipyra pyramidoides. Youngest larvae feed during the day whereas older larvae feed at night and hide during the day. Small larvae are difficult to distinguish from other small green caterpillars. Mature larvae of the speckled green fruitworm have cream-colored lines down the back and sides of their bodies. Humped green fruitworms have a prominent hump on the tail end of their body and bright yellow and white stripes down their backs.

Don't confuse green fruitworms with sawfly larvae. Fruitworms have only five pairs of prolegs instead of one on every abdominal segment, as sawfly larvae do.

Green fruitworm larva
Green fruitworm larva

California pear sawfly larva
California pear sawfly larva

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