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Alfalfa Looper Moth

Autographa californica

Alfalfa Looper, Autographa californicaThe alfalfa 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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alfalfa Looper, Autographa californicaWhile 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.

 
 
 
 
 
   

Alfalfa Looper, Autographa californicaThe 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).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alfalfa Looper, Autographa californicaOver 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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
      

Alfalfa Looper, Autographa californicaBy preference, 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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 

Alfalfa Looper, Autographa californicaThis is a newly emerged moth with its wings spread.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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