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Greater Grapevine Looper (Eulithis gracilineata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Greater Grapevine Looper



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The extreme curve in the abdomen of the Greater Grapevine Looper is a unusual, but its smaller relative does the same thing.



Updated: 01/22/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae
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          Genus: Eulithis
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            Species: gracilineata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Eulithis gracilineata
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 40mm (1.37" to 1.57")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow; orange; brown; purple
Descriptors: dark brown band; curled tail; headstand; distal dot; flying; ivory hindwings
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 35mm and 40mm
Lo: 35mm
Md: 37.5mm
Hi: 40mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Greater Grapevine Looper may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Greater Grapevine Looper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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