Tips on caring for inchworms

Hi everyone. A few days ago, I was catching moths for iNaturalist and at the end of the night I noticed that in one of my holding containers there were three eggs. They are pictured in this link which are out of focus, though this moth may or may not be the parent.

This photo was taken on June 1st. Out of sheer curiosity of what would happen and an inability to take them out without killing them I decided to let them be. Today two of the three hatched and I gave them slices of a grape which one has since found.


I am also planning on opening the container a few times a day and replacing the food often. I have never cared for insect larvae before, but I do know they are inchworms. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about larvae care? I am hoping to move them to the larger container in the next day or two to make use of the small one again and for ease of care. If it would increase survival to release them, what host plant would they like? I was planning to release them when they are older. An additional question I have is, at what stage is it best to release them? Before or after pupation. I look forward to hearing your suggestions!

As I was writing this post the third one hatched.

This is a very important question, but it is highly dependent on species. If you have posted an observation of the adult, you may be able to do some research and figure out the preferred food.

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“Inchworms” is a general term for the larvae of Geometrid moths. I would start by identifying the adult moth in the first picture; if it is a Geometrid, then my working hypothesis would be that it is the parent, and I would start with its host plant.

Thank you. I will start with the moth in that photo and then move to all moths caught that night that produce inchworms. I just do not have the observations posted yet.

I do not think the adult in the above picture is the parent as it is not a Geometrid. However the moth in the previous catch is.

I looked up food sources for the four-barred gray and gave them a few options. I hope it works.

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They were not eating so to give them the best chance I released them, hopefully to right plant. Thank you for your help.

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