Definition of cankerworm in US English:



  • The caterpillar of a North American moth that has wingless females. Cankerworms consume the buds and leaves of trees and can be a major pest.

    Several species in the family Geometridae, in particular Paleacrita vernata and Alsophila pometaria

    • ‘During all three years of our study, locally high densities of fall cankerworm depleted the preferred resource, box elder, and then ‘spilled over’ onto the less-preferred host, cottonwood.’
    • ‘Many garden pests are carabid food: cutworms, codling moth larvae, tent caterpillars, slugs, snails and cankerworms to name a few.’
    • ‘With the low dispersal ability of late instar fall cankerworm, it is not surprising that associational susceptibility was evident at the scale of only a few meters.’
    • ‘The first goal of this paper is to document an example of associational susceptibility using the hosts of a common forest pest, the fall cankerworm.’
    • ‘House wrens and chickadees compete for cankerworms and caterpillars; wood ducks, gray squirrels, flickers, and screech owls fight for the same nesting sites.’