Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Trichoplusia ni

The Ni Moth


The caterpillar is a typical plusiine "semi-looper", with just two pairs of mid-abdominal prolegs. Many of them are migratory species and often fly during the day. Several species have a silvery y-shaped mark on the forewing. In this species, someone must have thought the mark looks like the Greek letter nu ("ni" is the Latinized form of nu), though a close look at the mark on the actual moth gives a better idea of what it is really like. Several low-growing plants have been recorded for this species, but its preference for Brassicaceae has brought it to the attention of those who try to grow cabbage crops, and has earned the caterpillar the name "Cabbage Looper". Indeed, I reared the one shown on Brussels sprouts.

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