The pointed silvery mark on the side of the Sharp-stigma Looper Moth aims upward.
The Sharp-stigma Looper has a caterpillar that creates loops with its body as it crawls. The green caterpillar has a white line along each side of its tubular body. The brown adult has a much shorter mark on its side. The stigma, or mark, has a pointed tip to it while other members of the Looper Moth family have rounded or oblong marks. This species stigma sits in a darker area on the wing. Small gold flecks cover the wings. A tall, hairy hump behind the head is followed by a smaller hairy bump.
Sharp-stigma Looper caterpillars eat the leaves of aster, goldenrod, horseweed, and tobacco plants. Look for adults near these host plants in the summer. Southern states in the U.S. and Mexico host permanent populations. Colder states and provinces see migrants that travel north in the summer resulting in a shorter viewing season.
Scientific Name: Ctenoplusia oxygramma
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 19mm to 22mm (0.74in to 0.86in)
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.