T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Caterpillar of the Cabbage looper moth (Trichoplusia ni)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Subfamily:  Plusiinae
Tribe: Argyrogrammatini
Genus: Trichoplusia
Species: T. ni
Binomial name: Trichoplusia ni
Synonyms: Phytometra brassicae, Plusia innata
Common name: Caterpillar of the Cabbage Looper

Trichoplusia ni is a nocturnal brown moth. It is found throughout the southern Palaearctic ecozone, all of North America, parts of Africa and most of the Oriental and Indo-Australian-New Zealand region.
The caterpillar, a measuring worm, is smooth and pale green with white stripes and is one of a many species called cabbage worm. It is called a "looper" because it arches its body as it crawls, inchworm-style. This species is very destructive to plants due to its voracious consumption of leaves. It is not restricted to cole crops (Brassicaceae); other plant hosts include tomato, cucumber and potato. The adult of the species is a nocturnal brown moth.

Trichoplusia ni caterpillar on a tomato plant.





Trichoplusia ni caterpillar on a bean plant.

Trichoplusia ni caterpillar on a tomatoe plant

 

The head 

The rear of the larva (caterpillar)
 

The moth of the Cabbage Looper