American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various moths of the family Geometridae, having caterpillars commonly known as measuring worms that move by looping the body in alternate contractions and expansions.
- adj. Of or belonging to the Geometridae.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In entomology, pertaining to the moths of the section Geometrina, whose larvæ are measuring-worms.
- n. A moth of the family Geometridœ or section Geometrina, or its larva; a measuring-worm.
- n. zoology Any of the various moths of the family Geometridae.
- n. A larva of such moth, which when walking alternate legs and prolegs, giving the appearance of measuring.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Zoöl.) Pertaining or belonging to the
- n. (Zoöl.) One of numerous genera and species of moths, of the family
Geometridæ; -- so called because their larvæ (called loopers, measuring worms, spanworms, and inchworms) creep in a looping manner, as if measuring. Many of the species are injurious to agriculture, as the cankerworms.
- n. slender-bodied broad-winged moth whose larvae are called measuring worms
- From New Latin Geōmetridae, family name, from Latin geōmetrēs, geometrician, land-measurer, from Greek, from geōmetrein, to measure land; see geometry. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Among northern insects, population cycles are best known in geometrid moths, particularly the autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata), which exhibits massive population outbreaks with approximately 10-year intervals that extend into the forest tundra .”
“The projected increase in the frequency of winter warming is very likely to severely suppress population densities; distort the cyclic dynamics and degree of geographic synchrony in lemmings, voles, and geometrid moths; and in some cases even lead to population extinctions.”
“The natural cyclic fluctuation of geometrid moth numbers is driven by density-dependent factors that lag outbreaks in time, including buildup of natural enemies, disease, and reduced food quality, and by weather conditions at all life stages.”
“Warmer summer temperatures with no change in winter temperatures are likely to reduce the geometrid moth outbreak potential, because higher densities of moth predators associated with warm summers would partially protect birch, while the winter limitation on the moths would still operate.”
“High larval predation rate in non-outbreaking populations of a geometrid moth.”
“However, the border between outbreaking and non-outbreaking populations of geometrid moths is likely to move northward if climate changes.”
“Over 30 geometrid moths of the genus Chrysolarentia are found only in alpine areas, demonstrating rapid speciation over a small geographical area.”
“… An interesting account of the formation of local forms … has been given by J.W. H. Harrison 1920 for local races of the geometrid moth Oporabia autumnata.”
“Looper: applied to geometrid and other caterpillars in which some or all the middle abdominal legs are wanting and which move by bringing tail to thorax and forming a loop of the intervening segments.”
“The same kind of inquiry, though on far less complete data, was extended by the present writer  in 1873 to the moths, careful measurements of twenty-five species of geometrid moths common to the Atlantic and”
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