Thursday, June 16, 2011

Celery Looper

I found this Celery Looper in the back garden yesterday. I would have missed it if it stayed still, but it flushed from one hiding place and landed in the grass, where its location was more obvious. Loopers as a group have a very distinctive shape. When they fold their wings tent-like over their backs, they appear to have a hump over their thorax and another a third of the way down the back. The outer end of the wing appears fan-like. The odd shape helps them disappear into the foliage. When a looper presses itself up against a dried leaf or plant stalk, it looks like just another dried leaf.

Celery Loopers feed on a variety of plants as larvae – including but not restricted to celery. Other host plants include blueberry, clover, plantain, and viburnum, as well as various cultivated vegetables. Adults are sometimes active during the day and nectar at flowers.