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The cabbage looper moth has a wingspan of about 38 mm. Near the center of each brownish-gray forewing is a silver figure-eight design; the lighter colored hind wings have dark margins. This green larva has three pairs of prolegs and several white stripes which run the length of the body. It moves in a characteristic "looping" motion.
Native to North America, the cabbage looper is common from southern Canada into Mexico. In the U.S., this caterpillar is primarily a problem in the South. cabbage and related plants, cotton, potato, spinach, lettuce, celery, parsley, tomato, and soybean. Collards and cotton are preferred over broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage for oviposition.
It is somewhat erratic in occurrence, typically very abundant one year, and then scarce for two to three years. This is likely due to a nuclear polyhedrosis virus.