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Sharp-stigma Looper Moth (Ctenoplusia oxygramma)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Sharp-stigma Looper Moth

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Full-sized image of the Sharp-Stigma-Looper-Moth Thumbnail image of the Sharp-Stigma-Looper-Moth

The pointed silvery mark on the side of the Sharp-stigma Looper Moth aims upward.

Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Noctuidae
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          Genus: Ctenoplusia
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            Species: oxygramma
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Ctenoplusia oxygramma
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 19mm to 22mm (0.74" to 0.86")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, black, white
Descriptors: slash, slant, dark, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 19mm (0.7in) and 22mm (0.9in)
Lo: 19mm
Md: 20.5mm
Hi: 22mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
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State of New Mexico graphic
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
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Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Sharp-stigma Looper Moth 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 Sharp-stigma Looper Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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