Agriculture: Citrus Pest Management Guidelines

Loopers

  • Cabbage looper: Trichoplusia ni
  • Citrus looper: Anacamptodes fragilaria
  • Description of the Pest

    (View Caterpillar ID Key) (PDF)

    Loopers occur in most citrus-growing areas, usually together with other orangeworms. The larvae have no prolegs in the middle of the body and therefore move in a characteristic looping or measuring fashion. The female moth lays about 100 pale green, spherical eggs singly on leaves; there are several generations a year.

    Damage

    Looper larvae mainly consume new growth flushes, but also feed on blossoms and young fruit; they rarely damage mature fruit. Very young larvae typically feed on lower leaf surfaces along the leaf margin. Mature larvae, which are about 1.5 inch (3.7 cm) long, eat holes in leaves or consume them entirely.

    Management

    Loopers have many natural enemies, including Apanteles sp. Insecticide application for loopers on citrus is rarely required.

    Text Updated: 02/17