Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Trichoplusia Members:
29 NC Records

Trichoplusia ni (Hübner, [1803]) - Cabbage Looper

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: PlusiinaeTribe: ArgyrogrammatiniP3 Number: 931168.00 MONA Number: 8887.00
Comments: The only member of its genus found in the New World and possibly not closely related to the Old World species (Lafontaine and Poole, 1991).
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954, as Plusia ni); Lafontaine and Poole (1991)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Looper, primarily shaded with dull, dark gray but with some brown and greenish shades variably present. The antemedian and postmedian are both waved but are non-contrasting and inconspicuous (Forbes, 1954). The subterminal is more strongly marked, with rounded dentations towards the costa and more pointed ones towards the inner margin; a series of black dashes extends from the upper portion of the subterminal towards the postmedian (Forbes, 1954; Lafontaine and Poole, 1954). The silver stigma is the most conspicuous mark, composed of a u-shaped basal portion followed by an solid silver spot. The orbicular may also have a small amount of silver in its border, but the reniform is usually obscure. Hindwings are fuscous.
Wingspan: 35 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants: Larvae are polyphagous on herbaceous species, including many crop species (Wagner et al., 2011)
See also Habitat Account for General Fields, Gardens, and Ruderal Habitats
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Trichoplusia ni - Cabbage Looper

Photos: 11

Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-08-17
Durham Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-12
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-28
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-28
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-07-28
Mecklenburg Co.
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-07-28
Mecklenburg Co.
Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2017-09-03
Pitt Co.
Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-10-03
Ashe Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-07-21
Warren Co.
Recorded by: Taylor Piephoff on 2010-05-11
Mecklenburg Co.
Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2005-07-27
Carteret Co.