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Cabbage Looper
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Cabbage Looper

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Noctuidae

Pest Status: The cabbage looper feeds on a variety of crops, consuming foliage, and is one of the most destructive insect pests of vegetables.

Appearance: Cabbage loopers are a light-green color with light stripes extending down the back. They reach approximately 1 1/2-inches long.

Life Cycle: Adults emerge in the spring, mate, and fly to a host plant. The eggs are smooth and light green, and within three days, larvae hatch from the eggs. The larvae develop over a month before spinning a silk cocoon in which they form a green-brown pupal case. Adults emerge in about 13 days. They feed on the undersides of leaves between the veins, skeletonizing plants.

Where to Collect: Loopers are present from early spring to late fall, usually close to where the immatures feed.