Inchworm, Bloody Inchworm

As Quilly has already related, we spent much of today (1 December 2009) at the beach.

Yes, yes, we know, we know. If it’s any consolation, in another month or so we’ll be in hats and mittens just like so many of the rest of you.

It was a work trip for me. Yes it was. I was collecting seaweed species that may be new to science for identification and laboratory cultivation.

It was a photo shoot for her. One of the photos was of a green caterpillar, inching its way up a dead stick.

“Oh, look. An inchworm. How cute!”

We’re lucky it didn’t bite us.


Y’see, in most of the world, inchworms are harmless little things, going around measuring marigolds (prior to devouring them) and inspiring Hollywood crooners, not to mention Muppets, to promote the idea that aesthetics are superior to mathematics. (Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba could say something about “teacher furloughs” at this point, but as this has been a consistent refrain on this blog lately, he will refrain.)

In Hawai‘i, the Land of Aloha? They’re killers. The insect equivalent of a bunny rabbit with fangs. In the language of the entomologist, the Hawaiian inchworm is an “ambush” or “sit-and-wait” predator. They lounge around on the botanical equivalent of a streetcorner, whistling nonchalantly and trying to look inconspicuous. Until a fly or moth or similar variation on the theme of Meals on Wings comes within reach, and then … WHAM!!

You don’t believe me?

Shame on you.

Of course, the marigolds are all for this. They’ve got advertisements on all the major websites of the Inchwormnet, showing posies with crude hand-lettered signs:


  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. Mittens in Friday Harbor? Ha! More like thick wool sweaters and lined raincoats. 😉

    So Monty Python got the idea of the killer rabbit from Hawaiian inchworms?

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