Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Forage Looper Moth - (Caenurgina erechtea)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/16/2014

The understated, brown Forage Looper Moth can be found all across the continent, and unlike most moths, is active day and night.

Picture of Forage Looper Moth

The Forage Looper Moth is brown on both forewing and hindwing. Some member of its family have brilliant and brightly colored hindwings, but this species is not flashy. It is quite busy though, and can be seen in all three North American countries.

Forage Looper Moths are usually seen in open prairies, meadows and parks. They can also be found along roadsides and in fields that have an abundance of grasses (lawn, tall, ornamental) and forbs (herbs). They are known to feed on grasses, clover and ragweed. They are active between early spring and late autumn; a long period of time for a short-lived moth.

As caterpillars, Forage Looper Moths tend to move with a looping gait, hiding by day and feeding on grasses and clover under the cover of night. Many generations of this species occur in one year.

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Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common name: Forage Looper Moth
Scientific Name: Caenurgina erechtea

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Lepidoptera
      Family: Noctuidae
       Genus: Caenurgina
        Species: erechtea

Adult Size (Length): 30mm to 40mm (1.18in to 1.57in)

Identifying Colors: brown; ivory; white

Additional Descriptors: flying, harmless, striped, shiny

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.