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


Trichoplusia ni (Cabbage Looper)

ingdom: 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: 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 looks similar to  Ctenoplusia limbirena which has a pale brownish mark near the outer forewing margin.

The Trichoplusia ni caterpillar




The head


The rear of the larva (caterpillar)