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Species Autographa precationis - Common Looper - Hodges#8908

ID request, Moth 40 - Autographa precationis Gray birch caterpillar - Autographa precationis Noctuidae, Common Looper, cocoon - Autographa precationis Common Looper Moth? - Autographa precationis Autographa precationis Autographa precationis ? - Autographa precationis Moth - Autographa precationis Noctuid - Autographa precationis
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 Plusiinae (Looper Moths)
Tribe Plusiini
Subtribe Plusiina
Genus Autographa
Species precationis (Common Looper - Hodges#8908)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Autographa precationis (Guenée, 1852)
Plusia precationis Guenée, 1852
Phytometra precationis ab. tana Strand, 1917
* phylogenetic sequence #931191
forewing length 14-18 mm (Pogue, 2005)(1)
Adults - inner part of stigma hollow, V-shaped, usually connected to outer part, but frequently separated into two separate spots. See four ways to distinguish adults of this species from Chrysodeixis includens in "See also" section below.
Nova Scotia to Ontario, south to Georgia, west to Wisconsin, and Kansas (Eichlin & Cunningham, 1978).(2)
Adults fly from April to October in 3 or more broods (Covell, 1984).(3)
Larvae feed on a variety of forbs (non-grass herbs) such as asteraceae, cabbage, plantain, clover.
Life Cycle
Mated pair; eggs; larva; larva; cocoon; adult
See Also
Lafontaine and Poole have found the following four differences between two species that are often confused - Chrysodeixis includens and Autographa precationis:
1. A. precationis has a distinct rusty-red coloration and lacks brassy reflections in the forewing, whereas C. includens has a buffy-brown forewing and has strong brassy reflections.
2. The reniform spot of A. precationis is surrounded by a thin white line that is absent in C. includens.
3. C. includens has a strong brass-colored patch between the reniform spot and the postmedial line that is missing in A. precationis.
4. C. includens has a distinct dark spot in the fringe of the outer margin that is absent in A. precationis.

Images of both species together for comparison (Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility). Also see photos of Chrysodeixis includens from the French Antilles.
Print References
Covell Jr., C. V. 1984. A field guide to the moths of eastern North America. p.157, pl.31 #14 (3)
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)(2)
Lafontaine, J. D. & R. W. Poole 1991. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 25.1: p.82; pl.2.3-5
Pogue, M. G. 2005. The Plusiinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Zootaxa 1032: 1–28(1) (PDF)(1)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - species page
Maryland Moths - Images of live adult
pinned adult images comparing A. precationis and Psuedoplusia includens (CBIF)
Works Cited
1.The Plusiinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Michael G, Pogue. 2005. Magnolia Press Zootaxa 1032: 1–28.
2.The Plusiinae (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae) of America north of Mexico, emphasizing genitalic and larval morphology
Thomas D. Eichlin, Hugh B. Cunningham. 1978. United States Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin 1567: 1-121.
3.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.