Looper Moths
Bracken Fern Geometrid Moth
Dry Leaf Looper Moth
Bark Looper Moth
Cleora Looper Moth
Sinister Moth
Wattle Bark Moth
Black Looper 
Twig Caterpillars
Pink Bellied Moth
Fallen Bark Looper
Grey Geometrid Moth
Triangular Geometrid Moth
Looper Caterpillars
White Looper Moth
Common Brown Looper Moth
Green Looper Moth
Redlined Looper Moth
Gumtree Bizarre Looper Moth
Banded Carpet Moth I
Banded Carpet Moth II
Banded Carpet Moth III
Green and Brown Carpet Moth
Carpet Moth Caterpillars 


Looper Moths - Family Geometridae, Geometroidea

Order Lepidoptera 

This page contains pictures and information about Moths and Caterpillars in family Geometridae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Looper Caterpillar 
The superfamily Geometroidea includes only one family, Geometridae. This is one of the largest moths family. 
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Moth, wingspan 50mm                                         Wingspan 15mm                                                   Pupa    
Adult moths in this family Geometridae are from small to large in size. They all have board wings. Most of the them have camouflaged wing patterns. These patterns are usually wavy lines extend across both fore and hind wings. These moths rest with a standard posture, holding wings outspread and tightly pressed against the surface on which they are resting, with the antenna held under forewing. This eliminates the shadow as well as the wings outline for a better camouflaged posture. 
Their antenna are simple or bipectinate. The thorax is usually clothed in short lamellar scales. They may have slender or stout body and usually with short smooth scales.
Almost all Geometridae moths are active at night, They are weak fliers. 
Eggs are nearly always of the flat type, although some are upright. They may be lay singly, in pair or in groups.    
Most of the Caterpillars in this family Geometridae have only one or two pair of prolegs (instead of four pairs). The anal prolegs are well developed. The caterpillars move with curving their bodies into loops. This is why they commonly called Loopers. They are also known as Inch Worms because they apparently measuring off one inch at a time as they move. Some of them are called Twig Caterpillars because their resting posture camouflages as twig or stick. 
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Caterpillar moving                                                                                                                            Camouflage as twig  
The Geometridae caterpillars are usually hairless and with slender body. They are well camouflaged in green or brown in colour. Most of them feed on leaf and active during the night. Most of them feed and rest openly and do not have any shelter. Only a few species conceal themselves with leaves and loose silks.
Most of the caterpillar in this family are easy to rear. They usually pupate in plant materials or in soil with a flimsy cocoon.
Geometridae is a large family. We found many of them in Brisbane and listed as below. Some species the patterns on wings are variable. Shape of fore wings and hind wings help in the identification.   

Subfamily Ennominae - Twig Caterpillars

ENNOMINAE - Most Caterpillars in this subfamily are resemblance to dead twigs or other parts of their food plants. The adult moths are active at night. Most of them are grey or dark brown in colours.

Subfamily Oenochrominae - Loopers Caterpillars

OENOCHROMINAE - For the adults in this subfamily, there are the stout-bodied group and the slender-bodied group.

Subfamily Geometrinae - Emeralds

GEOMETRINAE - The mature caterpillars in this subfamily only have one pair of ventral prolegs. They can move only in the looper fashion. Adults fly weakly at night. Some are green in colour hence the common name Emeralds.

Subfamily Sterrhinae - Waves

STERRHINAE - Moths in this subfamily are small in size with wingspan of less tha 20mm. They are usually pink or yellow in colour. They usually have transverse lines on both wings. 

Subfamily Larentiinae - Carpets

LARENTIINAE - Moths in this subfamily are from small to medium in size. They are mostly brown with patterns of distinct transverse wavy lines across wings. Their common name Carpet refers to those patterns on their wings. 

1. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p359.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p424.
3. A Guide to Australian Moths - Paul Zborowski, Ted Edwards, CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2007, p137.
4. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
5. Moths of Victoria Part 3 - Waves & Carpets - GEOMETROIDAE (C) - Peter Marriott, Entomological Society of Victoria, 2011.
6. GEOMETRIDAE of Australia - Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2011.   


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Last updated: September 04, 2011.