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Fir needle inchworm

Fir needle inchworm -
  • Latin name: Eupithecia lariciata (Frey.)
  • French name:
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Geometridae
  • Synonym(s): Eupithecia luteata Packard


British Columbia

This holarctic species is generally distributed throughout British Columbia; it also occurs east to Newfoundland and in Eurasia.



Damage, symptoms and biology

Eupithecia lariciata is a common innocuous solitary defoliator.

Mature larva up to 24 mm long. Head, light brown with cream coloured markings. Body light rusty brown; middorsal line alternatively dark then faint; faint creamy yellow subdorsal line and spiracular line.

This species overwinters as a pupa in litter or soil. Adults emerge in May and lay eggs on needles. Larvae are present from mid-June to early August and pupation occurs from July to August.

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Fir needle inchworm

Diet and feeding behaviour

  • Phyllophagous : Feeds on the leaves of plants.
    • Free-living defoliator: Feeds on and moves about freely on foliage.
Information on host(s)

The principal hosts of Eupithecia lariciata are Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, white spruce, subalpine fir and western larch; other hosts include tamarack and black spruce.

Main host(s)

Black spruce, Engelmann spruce, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, subalpine fir, tamarack, western larch, white spruce


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