Mocis alterna (Walker, 1858)
Bean Looper
(also known as Euclidia nebuligera)
CATOCALINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

This caterpillar has some of its prolegs missing, and moves in a looper fashion. It can have many colours varying from ream through brown to black, and might or might not have stripes. It is a pest on :

  • Green Beans ( Phaseolus species, FABACEAE ),
  • Alfalfa ( Lucerne: Medicago sativa, FABACEAE ), and
  • Soybeans ( Glycine max, FABACEAE ).


    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The adult moth is brown, mottled with sinuous markings. The wingspan is about 3 cms.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The eggs are laid singly. They are spherical with ribs, and green.

    The species is found in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Australian Capital Territory.


    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson, listed as Mocis alterna
    ,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Noctuidæ, Volume XIII (1913), Plate CCXXIII, figure 24,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 47.6, pp. 65, 452.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 144.

    Francis Walker,
    Noctuidae,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 15 (1858), pp. 1833-1834, Ref. 1463.


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    (updated 13 April 2013)