Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Chloridea virescens - Tobacco Budworm Moth - Hodges#11071

Caterpillar on Lantana - Chloridea virescens unidentified caterpillar - Chloridea virescens Tobacco Budworm? - Chloridea virescens Caterpillar - Chloridea virescens Tobacco Budworm - Chloridea virescens Caterpillar - Chloridea virescens Unknown - Chloridea virescens Tobacco Budworm - Chloridea virescens
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Heliothinae
Genus Chloridea
Species virescens (Tobacco Budworm Moth - Hodges#11071)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Noctua virescens Fabricius, 1777
Heliothis virescens (Fabricius, 1777)
2.7-3.8cm wingspan.
Larva to 3.5cm.
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.
Life Cycle
Life cycle:

Caterpillars feed on buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds, making them an agricultural crop pest.
See Also

"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
Print References
(1) (2)
Works Cited
1.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
2.Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2005. Princeton University Press.