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Alfalfa Looper Moth Caterpillar

Autographa californica


1 inch. Bright Green, white lines on the sides and back. A dark bluish stripe down the middle of the back. sparsely haired.


Found on lawn grass and dandelions.


I'll be excited to see it go into a cocoon/chrysalis and then turn into a butterfly or moth. Does anyone know how long that will take?

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Steven Sheppard
Steven Sheppard 8 years ago

I have some more you're welcome to look at if you have time ever.

Steven Sheppard
Steven Sheppard 8 years ago

ForestDragon, I appreciate you looking into it. I generally avoid taking pictures of invertebrates because beyond a few species of adult butterflies, bees, and wasps I have no idea what I am looking at.

ForestDragon 8 years ago

After a fairly thorough search through Bug Guide, I believe your caterpillar here looks like one of the Looper Moths.

Your caterpillar looks very much like Autographa californica, Alfalfa Looper Moth:

For reference, here is what a Luna Moth caterpillar looks like:

ForestDragon 8 years ago

I believe that this is a different species than a Luna moth. The body of your caterpillar seems to be more slender and the markings are different. I will see if I can find a closer match for you.

Faith Snyder
Faith Snyder 8 years ago

Maybe a Luna moth caterpillar?? Not sure.

ForestDragon 11 years ago

This looks like a moth caterpillar. Unfortunately, I am not sure I can give you much more info at this time. If you are feeling adventurous and have a bit of time, you can try searching on for a match. For butterflies and moths you can choose just to look at caterpillars. You can do a search for "green caterpillar" as well but you will have a load of images to go through.

It depends how old this caterpillar is and what species to be able to tell how long it will take. If you can find what it eats, you could try to raise it.

Good luck!

Steven Sheppard
Spotted by
Steven Sheppard

LA, California, USA

Spotted on Apr 2, 2013
Submitted on Apr 3, 2013

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