“Located in central PA and can’t figure out what this worm is I just found on my floor,” says this reader in her one-line submission. The worm in question appears to be a yellowish color, with a segmented, semi-transparent body and dark-brown stripes running down its sides.
Other than the photograph, our reader did not provide any more context that might help us identify this creature. And unfortunately, it is difficult to make out the details of the creature from the photograph. At the very least, we can say that this is likely the caterpillar of a butterfly or moth, given its size, darkly-colored head, and the small legs one can make out under the caterpillar’s body. If we were to stretch our abilities of making educated guesses, we might suggest that this is an armyworm. This identification is made based on the presumption that the poor lighting in the photo may distort the actual color of the creature, which we suppose might actually be a light green. This in conjunction with the markings along the side of the caterpillar’s body, and its black head, tells us that this might be an armyworm. That said, we ask that our reader keep in mind that this identification is not made with 100% certainty, and it could very well be something else.
Armyworms are agricultural pests that tend to haunt large monocultures where they can eat to their heart’s content. They do not eat houseplants, nor are they directly harmful to humans, so our reader needs not fret for her own health, or the health of any plants she may own. Regardless if it is an armyworm or not, we simply recommend that our reader move the caterpillar outside using a dustpan or gardening gloves. Since we do not know exactly what this creature is, we advise taking some form of precaution if and when handling the caterpillar. It is possible to experience allergic reactions on skin-to-skin contact with caterpillars, regardless if they are actually poisonous or dangerous. If our reader finds more of these caterpillars, we recommend that she put one in a container with some air holes and food (leaves of some sort) and wait to see what it might mature into. Then, our reader is more than welcome to send more pictures (perhaps with some natural lighting) so we can have another go at identifying it.
To conclude, we are not entirely sure what our reader found on her floor, though it is likely it is a caterpillar. It could be the caterpillar of an armyworm moth, but equally it could be something else. If any of our other readers have any ideas as to what this might be, they are welcome to share suggestions in the comments section below. We apologize to our reader for not being able to be a bigger help, but we hope that this article is helpful to some degree.
All About Worms is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP Publishing.