The extreme curve in the abdomen of the Greater Grapevine Looper is a unusual, but its smaller relative does the same thing.
The yellow-orange Greater Grapevine Looper has fine, brown lines that split the forewings into bands. The Lesser Grapevine LooperLesser Grapevine Looper can look almost identical to this species, but it is a smaller size, so measuring the wingspan and length of the moth is necessary to tell many individuals apart in the field and in photographs. Greater Grapevine Loopers tend to have double the amount of bands, and an upper and lower band are generally a darker shade of brown instead of orange. A single dot in the middle band is just off center. When resting, wings are opened flat, and the body curls so much that the tail almost touches its head. This is not why it is called a looper though. That stems from the shape its caterpillar makes when crawling forward.
The caterpillar feeds on the leaves of Virginia creeper and grapevines. The pencil-thin body is green or brown depending on its maturity. One or two tiny dots are found on the side of each body segment. When moving, the caterpillar arches its body upward into a loop where the head and tail almost touch. This larva is a twig mimic and can hang onto a branch with one end while hanging its stiff body at an angle.
Scientific Name: Eulithis gracilineata
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 40mm (1.37in to 1.56in)
Colors: yellow; orange; brown; purple
Descriptors: dark brown band; curled tail; headstand; distal dot; flying; ivory hindwings
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.