Soybean Looper Moth

A soybean looper moth has emerged from my caterpillar eating sage! See my post on the caterpillar eating sage for the beginning of this story.

I checked on the chrysalis almost every day to see when the moth/butterfly would emerge.  I was hoping that once it emerged I would be able to identify the caterpillar that had eaten a lot of my sage that I was growing indoors.  You might ask why I was growing sage indoors?  We were trying to eat more kale because it is so healthy.  I found a great recipe for kale soup that has a lot of sage in it.  So I decided to grow sage indoors so that I have it available for this recipe.

Soybean Looper Moth Emerges!

One day I checked under the leaf and there was a hole in the chrysalis!  Oh no–it has emerged and is somewhere flying in our house.  I was so disappointed to have missed it.  Then I noticed something black under another leaf and there it was! It must have recently emerged because it seemed its wings were still stretching out after having been crammed into the small space.

Now I Wanted to Identify It

Soybean Looper MothI realized that it was a moth.  It had some iridescent gold on its wings and some very interesting markings on its wings that were silvery/gold.  They were small but very beautiful.  One marking was shaped like an upside down question mark.  That mark enabled me to fully identify the moth.  Unfortunately you can’t see the iridescent gold in the picture.  And the markings look white instead of silvery/gold.  It happened to be a warm day so I put him outside on the arugula in my cold frame.  I will know later how he survived if I find inchworm caterpillars eating my arugula!

Here is another image of the soybean looper moth.  And here is a link to that delicious kale-sage soup.