Are carrot-seed moth caterpillars invasive?


I believe I have purple carrot-seed moth caterpillars in my garden primarily on my dill plants. I would greatly appreciate your help in identifying this caterpillar and if it is invasive? If so how do I get rid of them?


Rebecca Long, Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture Professional

Your identification is correct, we agree that they are the caterpillars of the purple carrot-seed Moth (Depressaria depressana)

They are not native (but appear to have been introduced to North America in 2008). They are not currently considered invasive in Maine since invasive species have to both be non-native AND likely to cause harm to the environment, human-health, or economy. While this particular species in non native, there are many other species from the same genus native to North America.

Since this is an unusual find, I encourage you to report it on the Butterflies and Moths of North America site. You’ll have to create an account but since there aren’t any current reports listed for Maine, it would be worth it to help document and monitor its distribution.