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Species Rachiplusia ou - Gray Looper Moth - Hodges#8895

ou ? - Rachiplusia ou Gray Looper Moth - Hodges#8895 - Rachiplusia ou Unknown Looper Moth - Rachiplusia ou Illinois  Data Point - Rachiplusia ou Rachiplusia ou Rachiplusia ou - Gray Looper Moth - Hodges#8895 - Rachiplusia ou Gray Looper Moth - Rachiplusia ou Rachiplusia ou
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Plusiinae (Looper Moths)
Tribe Plusiini
Subtribe Autoplusiina
Genus Rachiplusia
Species ou (Gray Looper Moth - Hodges#8895)
Hodges Number
8895
Other Common Names
Glossy Gray Looper Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Rachiplusia ou (Guenée, 1852)
Plusia ou Guenée, 1852
syn. Plusia tenaculum Guenée, 1852
P. fratella Grote, 1874
P. pedalis Grote, 1875
Phytometra ou ab. ouella Strand, 1917
Phytometra ou ab. ouana Strand, 1917
* phylogenetic sequence #931176
Explanation of Names
Rachi- is perhaps(?) from rachis, the axis of a leaf or spinal column? Suffix -plusia refers to other members of genus. Specific name ou is of obscure origin. Perhaps it is clever viusal pun The markings on the moth's forewing do look like the letters O and U. (Based on Internet searches, with a little imagination.) [PC]
Size
forewing length 13-20 mm (Pogue, 2005)(1)
Identification
Adults - forewing glossy brownish-gray with irregular double PM line and adjacent pale band across subterminal area, especially noticeable near costa; stigma white, either as separate U-shaped and O-shaped parts or (more often) joined together, with black shading between it and reniform spot; subterminal line distinct, black, irregular, bordered distally by paler shading near anal angle; fringe checkered; hindwing dark brownish-gray with checkered fringe.
Range
Eastern and central North America from Arizona to Florida, north to Nova Scotia and Manitoba.
Habitat
Open areas, cultivated land, presumably.
Season
Adults fly from May to October, or all year in southern states.
Food
Larvae feed on clover, corn, Mexican Tea (Chenopodium ambrosioides), mint (Mentha spp.), tobacco, wheat, and other plants (Covell, 1984).
Life Cycle
Two or more generations per year (Covell, 1984).(2)
See Also
Ni Moth (Trichoplusia ni) forewing shows less contrast, lacks pale band in subterminal area, and has less distinct lines (compare photos of both species at CBIF). Other members of the subfamily Plusiinae are similar.
Print References
Boisduval, J. A. & A. Guenée 1852. Noctuilites 2. Hist. nat. Ins., Spec. gén. Lépid. 6: 348
Covell Jr., C. V. 1984. A field guide to moths of eastern North America. p.156, pl.31 #8 (2)
Eichlin, T. D. & H. B. Cunningham 1978. The Plusiinae (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae) of America north of Mexico, emphasizing genitalic and larval morphology. USDA Tech. Bulletin 1567: 1-122 (PDF)
Lafontaine, J. D. & R. W. Poole 1991. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 25.1: p.58; pl.1.21-22
Pogue, M. G. 2005. The Plusiinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Zootaxa 1032: 1–28 (PDF)(1)
Powell, J. A. & P. A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America, Pl.49.28m; p.277(3)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - species page
dallasbutterflies.com pinned adult image, common name reference [Gray Looper], larval foodplants (Dale Clark, Texas)
pinned adult images (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
Works Cited
1.The Plusiinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Michael G, Pogue. 2005. Magnolia Press Zootaxa 1032: 1–28.
2.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
3.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.