|scientific name Trichoplusia ni |
common name Cabbage Looper Moth
Open areas, croplands, gardens, etc
Adults appear from late July through October.
A medium-size (3.0-3.6 cm wingspan), dark brown moth. The forewings are dark grey-brown with a scattering of lighter brown scales. The normal lines and spots are absent or greatly reduced. The only prominent mark is the silvery white stigma in the center of the forewings. This is comprised of a u-shaped mark with a silvery spot just distad of the base of it, nearly or just touching it. The upper part of the postmedian line is reduced to a series of thin, black streaks or loops. The terminal line is marked with a series of black crescents following the scalloped wing margin. The hindwings are dark sooty brown, paler in the basal half and darkening toward the margin. The fringe is pale, with brown scales marking the ends of the veins. The antennae are simple, and both sexes are alike.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light. It is primarily a tropical species that probably cannot winter north of the southern United States, and that re-invades southern Canada in late summer each year. The larvae feed on a huge variety of plants, and in warmer climates, it is considered a serious agricultural pest on various crops, in particular members of the cabbage family.
An annual immigrant. No concerns.
"The list of foodplants for ni reads like a compendium of herbaceous plants of the world. However, it seems to be particularly fond of species in the Brassicaceae, especially species of Brassica." (Lafontaine and Poole, 1991).
Found throughout much of the world, wherever the climate is warm enough. It occurs throughout North America, north to southern Canada, and from Newfoundland west to Vancouver Island. In Alberta, it has been recorded north to Nordegg and Edmonton.
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