Taken for a Loop

This has not been a good summer for moths. Few have come to the porch light or landed on uncurtained windows after dark so it was quite a surprise to find this nocturnal moth feeding in my garden in daylight.

It’s one of the looper moths — named for the caterpillars that curl into loops as they move, rather than crawling. They feed on dandelions, as well as plantain and nettles all of which grow in our yard. Maybe they have been here all along, and I’ve just never seen them.


I was intrigued by the little tufts of hair along its back and the two white spots. They helped narrow down the identification and certainly make this moth memorable.

Unlike some moths that have a single common name (or none at all) this one has several — two-spotted looper moth, twin gold spot and double-spotted spangle. Take your pick. If you’re scientifically inclined you’ll know it as Autographa bimaculata. Once you get the hang of it, that last one kinda rolls right off the tongue. 🙂

Two-spotted looper moth   Autographa bimaculata