Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Strange worm

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Question
My parents found a strange three-inch long,  hair thin , green worm on a flower in our yard today. it has a black-brown stripe down its back and was climbing on the stems. it looks like a worm but it might be a snake,We are curious to what it is and slightly worried it might be a pest.
thanks,
Raina

Answer
Raina:

Without at least an image of the creature, I cannot easily offer an identification.  Further, worms and snakes are *not* arthropods (insects, spiders, other arachnids, crustaceans, millipedes, centipedes, etc).

That said, it could have been a horsehair worm.  They are parasitic on grasshoppers, crickets, and related insects.  I don't know enough about them to offer more information, but here's a start:

http://therevscience.com/?p=463

Aside from horsehair worms, I am not sure what else it could be.  Perhaps a land planaria?

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/land_planarians.htm

They are usually more robust than what you describe, plus they have a spade- or hatchet-shaped head.

Neither creature is considered a pest.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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