Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Noctua virescens Fabricius, 1777
Heliothis virescens (Fabricius, 1777)
Pale green with 3 nearly parallel lines. HW white with gray outer shading.
Caterpillars vary greatly in color. They seem to take on the color of the flower they are eating - green, pink red or maroon forms are described. Consistent features include small dotlike black 'microspines' giving the body a rough texture. Later instars typically have a brown head capsule and stripes along the body including a broad pale subspiracular stripe.
Maine and southern Ontario, to Florida, west to Texas and Nebraska.
Fields, gardens, and waste lots.
May to October. One generation north, two in New Jersey, continuous in the south.
Cotton, tobacco, roses, ground cherries, soybean, and many others.
Caterpillars feed on buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds, making them an agricultural crop pest.
"the easiest way to separate the two is Heliothis virescens has rust colored prothoracic legs and subflexa does not" Maury J. Heiman, comment posted on the FaceBook mothing and moth-watching group