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Soybean Looper (Chrysodeixis includens)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Soybean Looper.

 Updated: 5/24/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The small Soybean Looper has a big appetite for more than just its namesake, making it an all-around pest for food producers.



The Soybean Looper caterpillar is a pesky little larva that feeds on popular food crops. Leaves and sometimes fruits of soybeans, lettuce, tomato, sweet potato, peanut, and vegetables in the cabbage family are dietary options. Tobacco, cotton, goldenrod, and other low-growing plants are also welcome items for dinner. Young caterpillars feed on the lower foliage of the plant and move upward and outward as they grow. Scarring from feeding on the skin and tissues of fruit creates blemishes. The large amount of defoliation that a population of caterpillars can inflict has rendered them serious agricultural pests. Adults are migratory, moving north in the warm months to reestablish populations that didn't survive the cold winter. Two or more broods can be produced each growing season, so populations can quickly establish themselves in an area.

The adult moth is brown with a variety of patterns on its forewings. It looks similar to the Common Looper, but is more bronze and copper-colored. Two white spots - one solid, the other filled - are clearly visible on each forewing. The bottom of the forewing is gray and brown and these colors bleed into each other like watercolors. A tuft of hair near the head rises up like a giant collar. The top part of the furry brown abdomen has an orange patch of hair. The larva is green with thin white stripes running down the length of the body on top and on the sides. Short white bands cross each segment. Tiny black dots run along the sides. The tail end is wider and thicker than the head and rest of the body. Soybean Looper caterpillars form loops, or rings, with their bodies as they crawl across stems and branches. The wide rear end is brought up right behind the head, bending the body into a complete circle, just before the head stretches forward. Look for this species in fields and farms on host plants.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Noctuidae
          Genus: Chrysodeixis
            Species: includens
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Chrysodeixis includens
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 29mm (0.51in to 1.13in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, gray, white, copper, bronze
Descriptors: ornate, spots, sheen, metallic, luster, bronze, copper, flying
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
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Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
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Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
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Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
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Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
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Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.