“What is this?” is all this reader asks in her submission. The creature she is referring to appears to be black and gray in color, with a bulbous black head that sits atop a skinny body with two-to-three sets of prolegs.
Although the photo does not tell us much about the creature (it is taken far away, at a mediocre resolution), the video is definitely clearer and more helpful. In the footage (linked below), we can see that the worm moves in an interesting way. Using its prolegs, it drags its body forward while the center of its body arches up. After that, it stretches out again to move across the surface. If one looks closely, it also looks like the creature might have sets of legs at the rear end of its body, though we are not sure about this.
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Either way, we think that this might be an inchworm. The term ‘inchworm’ refers to the larvae of a whole host of North American moth species who move in the same way that this creature does, inching across a surface. They are able to spin silken webs which they can use to escape from a predator in a high spot, gently lowering themselves down to the ground. Inchworms have sets of legs on both ends of their bodies, which enable them to arch their bodies in the way that they do. So, if this is indeed an inchworm, then the aforementioned idea that this creature does have legs at both ends of its body would be correct.
Although it is difficult to make any generalizations about inchworms, since so many species of moth caterpillars fall under that umbrella term, what we can say is that they are not dangerous to humans or pets. They do not bite or infect animals, and they do not carry pathogens or disease (from what we know). All our reader needs to do is move this worm outside (in the case that she found the inchworm in her home).
In conclusion, we think that the creature our reader found is an inchworm. We hope this article proves helpful and we wish her the best!
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