University of Missouri Extension

IPM1019, New February 2003

Caterpillars in Your Yard and Garden

Cabbage looper

Cutworms, armyworms, underwings and dagger moths

Link to Caterpillars in Your Yard and Garden Cabbage looper caterpillars (Trichoplusia ni) are present from late spring to fall. They produce two to three generations per year.

Full-grown caterpillars are about 1.5 inches long and uniformly green. However, there may be a faint, longitudinal white stripe on the lateral sides and several narrow lines dorsally. From the head, the girth of the body gradually increases toward the posterior end, and there are only two pairs of midabdominal prolegs. Host plants include a large variety of vegetable (often a serious pest of crucifers), flower and field crops and broadleaf weeds

About the family

Noctuidae is the largest family in the order Lepidoptera. The body of the caterpillars ranges from smooth with very little hair to clothed with short or long hairs; coloration varies from dull-colored to bright stripes or patches to cryptic. Although many species are found feeding on the foliage of forest or shade trees, they are not considered serious pests. However, several species are damaging to many field, vegetable and fruit crops.

Wild thing

IPM1019 Caterpillars in Your Yard and Garden | University of Missouri Extension

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