Scientific Name: Chrysodeixis argentifera
Other Common Names: Vegetable Looper
Species documented in 1852 by Guenee.
Often known due to its important pest status, the Tobacco Looper as a caterpillar is a smooth green with two white stripes down its back. As a moth it has a mottled grey colouring, with patchy white and brownish areas.
the The word looper is named after the movement of the caterpillar larvae, which walk in a distinct looping action due to having only two sets of abdominal prolegs.
Most active around November and December, slow reproduction can occur until July (Broadley, 1981).
Found all across Australia, and also Norfolk Island (CSIRO, 2007).
Feeding on as the name suggests, the leaves of Tobacco plants (and other economic plants such as green beans). It is sometimes found in grain crops, but does not pose a risk to the crop as it only feeds on leaves.
Populations of Tobacco Loopers peak throughout November and December, and often coincide with the early planting of tobacco crops (Broadley, 1981).
Food exports such as tomatos must be cleared by AQIS (Australian Quarantine Inspection Service) to verify the crops are free of the Tobacco Looper to prevent the spread of this insect to other countries.