looper moth is said to be one of the most common
moths in California. Unless you stop and look closely, it is just
another gray brown moth.
While it is
called the alfalfa looper, it eats a wide
variety of plant species many of which are important crops. I
first noticed this one because of the damage to some mint leaves.
The same looper
a number of days later, almost ready for its
cocoon. It is called a looper because of the way it "walks", like
a measuring worm (inch worm).
Over night it
had eaten up all the leaves in the jar, so the
only place for it to put its cocoon was on the side of the jar.
This allowed an unusually good look at the formation of the chrysalis.
the alfalfa looper rolls a leaf around its
cocoon as it spins it. You would not likely notice this cocoon if
you were not specifically looking for it.
This is a newly emerged moth with its wings spread.
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