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) - View
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.