Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Genista Broom Moth Caterpillars

uresiphita reversalis


There were hundreds of these Genista broom moth caterpillars eating french broom plants along the main road near my sisters house. They were approximately 1 inch long. Some of them were surrounded by silk.


Urban housing development landscape area.


The genista caterpillar, Uresiphita reversalis, also called sophora worm, is the larva of the genista broom moth, Lepidoprera pyralidae. Its native range is Nova Scotia to Florida, California, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and parts of Mexico. It is a tenting caterpillar that uses silk to spin a tent-like form in the plants and trees where it feeds. In large numbers, genistas can defoliate a tree or plant in favorable conditions. Small numbers of them don't cause trees any permanent damage.


misako 9 years ago

Thank you Cindy!

CindyBinghamKeiser 9 years ago

Cool caterpillar!

misako 9 years ago

Thank you Textless and Carol! It was pretty amazing to see such a large number of them on several plants.

CarolSnowMilne 9 years ago

HA!! The last photo! LOL! WOW! I am just happy to find one caterpillar in the meadow. GREAT! A whole family of them. Great photos!

textless 9 years ago

Good series, and a really striking caterpillar!

misako 9 years ago

@KarenSaxton: I just read an article that both broom species are a problem in California too.

KarenSaxton 9 years ago

We so need them here! Scotch broom is rampant - and normal eradication isn't working

misako 9 years ago

@KarenSaxton: they decimated the french broom, so I imagine they would love the scotch as well! :)

misako 9 years ago

Thank you for the ID KarenL!

KarenSaxton 9 years ago

will they eat scotch broom? Send them here, please!

Spotted by

Richmond, California, USA

Spotted on Oct 10, 2011
Submitted on Nov 19, 2011

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team