Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 19 NC Records

Rachiplusia ou (Guenée, 1852) - Gray Looper


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: PlusiinaeTribe: PlusiiniP3 Number: 931176.00 MONA Number: 8895.00
Comments: This genus comprises three species, all confined to the New World but with only R. ou reaching North America (Lafontaine and Poole, 1991).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954, as Plusia ou); Lafontaine and Poole (1991)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, dull, ash-gray Looper. Lines on the forewing are non-contrasting and inconspicuous, but both the antemedian and postmedian are doubled, pale filled, and waved rather than even (Forbes, 1954). The subterminal is somewhat irregular, with a dark shade on the basal side and a pale gray shade beyond it; both the apex and anal angle usually are marked with pale gray. The stigma is a rounded, open u-shape, without a silver filling; a small silver spot, sometimes with a dark center, follows. Hindwings are dull luteous.
Wingspan: 35-40 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: The only species of Plusiine in our area with spines on the tibiae of all three pairs of legs (Lafontaine and Pool, 1991).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution:
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
Habitats: Wagner et al. (2011) list fields, gardens, croplands, and other early successional habitats.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae are polyphagous on herbaceous plants, including many crop species (Wagner et al., 2011)
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Fields, Gardens, and Ruderal Habitats
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments:

 Photo Gallery for Rachiplusia ou - Gray Looper

Photos: 21

Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-11-09
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-23
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-09-16
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2020-07-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-19
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2019-05-19
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-06-21
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-06-21
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2012-06-06
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2009-08-22
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2001-05-30
Hoke Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 3.5 cm; forewing length = 1.7 cm.