Other Common Names
Raspberry Looper (larva)
Brown-patched Looper Moth (adult)
Broken-banded Y (adult)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Autographa ampla (Walker 1858)
Plusia ampla Walker, 1858
Plusia alterna Strecker, 1885
Phylogenetic sequence #
Pogue (2005) listed the forewing length as 18-21 mm. (2)
Adults - forewing gray with dark brown or black apical dash and sharply-defined blackish or dark reddish-brown lower median area; stigma white, diagonal, U-shaped, forming upper border of median patch; small pinkish patch distal to reniform spot, and pinkish tints often present along AM and PM lines; small black patches along costa near AM and PM lines and at anal angle; ST line scalloped, usually distinct at costa and inner angle, faint or absent in the middle hindwing grayish-brown.
Larvae - body yellowish-green, sparsely haired, with whitish lateral and subdorsal stripes; only two pairs of mid-abdominal prolegs, plus an apical pair; head small, brownish-green.
Alaskan panhandle plus coast to coast in southern Canada and northern United States, south in the Appalachians to North Carolina, and south in the west to California, Arizona, New Mexico.
Woodlands and edges, shrubby areas.
Adults fly from June to August. Larvae in spring and fall (overwinters).
Larvae are generalist feeders on various trees and shrubs: willow and poplar are preferred foods, but also feed on alder, birch, blueberry, Buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis), cherry, elder, raspberry, serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), stinging nettle, and Viburnum species.
One generation per year; overwinters as a larva.
- (which is restricted to the far west) is the most similar of all Plusiinae moths, but it has more prominent PM and ST lines, and lacks a black apical dash, a small pinkish patch distal to reniform spot, and pinkish tints along AM and PM lines; it also has yellow and black hindwings
, but in ampla
, the patch below the stigma is larger and darker, and there is a small dark patch near the forewing apex (E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum)
Also see other western species in the Plusiini tribe
Lafontaine, J.D. & R.W. Poole 1991. The Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 25.1
. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation. p. 91; pl. 2. figs. 30-31. (3)
Pogue, M.G. 2005. The Plusiinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Zootaxa
1032: 1–28. (2)
Strecker, H. 1885. Descriptions of new species of Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
pinned adult image
(Insects of Quebec)
(Markku Savela, Finland, FUNET)