Cabbage looper

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Not to be confused with Cabbage Moth.
Cabbage Looper
Noctuidae moth.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Tribe: Argyrogrammatini
Genus: Trichoplusia
Species: T. ni
Binomial name
Trichoplusia ni
(Hübner, 1800–1803)
  • Phytometra brassicae
  • Plusia innata Herrich-Schaffer, 1868

The Cabbage Looper (Trichoplusia ni) is a member of the moth family Noctuidae. It is found throughout the southern Palaearctic ecozone, all of North America, parts of Africa and most of the Oriental, parts of Europe and Indo-Australian region.[1] In the United Kingdom, where the adult is primarily a (sometimes numerous) immigrant but breeding is rare, the species is also known as the Ni Moth.[2] The name derives from the forewing marking, which resembles the lowercase Greek letter ni.


The caterpillar, a measuring worm, is smooth and pale green with white stripes and is one of a many species called cabbage worm. It is called a "looper" because it arches its body as it crawls, inchworm-style. This species is very destructive to plants due to its voracious consumption of leaves. It is not restricted to cole crops; other plant hosts include tomato, cucumber, collard greens, and potato.[1][3][4] The adult of the species is a nocturnal brown moth.

Molecular biology[edit]


Trichoplusia ni is also used as an expression system in the field of molecular biology. High Five cells from Trichoplusia ni are one of the most commonly used cell lines in eukaryotic protein expression.


  1. ^ a b "Cabbage looper". Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  2. ^ Waring, P., M. Townsend & R. Lewington, 2003. Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland. British Wildlife Publishing, Rotherwick.
  3. ^ Fauna Europaea
  4. ^ Robinson, G. S., P. R. Ackery, I. J. Kitching, G. W. Beccaloni & L. M. Hernández (2010). "Search Results for Trichoplusia ni". HOSTS - A Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants. London: Natural History Museum. 

External links[edit]