Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Alfalfa Looper Moth
Tathorhynchus exsiccata (Lederer, 1855)

Family: Erebidae
Subfamily: Erebinae
Identification: Forewing light brownish-gray with diffuse dark shading beyond subterminal line; dark basal dash and dark strip between pale reniform and orbicular spots; reniform spot contains two dark dots; pale streaking along veins, and some dark speckling along costa; PM line faint or absent; fringe dark; hindwing pale gray or tan with large dark gray patch along upper two-thirds of outer margin; fringe pale except for some dark scales bordering the dark patch
Wing Span: 2.8-3.2 cm
Life History:
Flight: June to September in the North, April to November in the south
Caterpillar Hosts: alfalfa, indigo (Indigofera spp.), and Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum)
Adult Food:
Habitat: Open areas containing the larval foodplants; adults are nocturnal and come to light
Range: Southern United States (Florida to California), north through the central states to Canada (Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)
Management Needs:
Taxonomy Notes: Sometimes described as Tathorhynchus exsiccatus
Alternate Scientific Names:
Tathorhynchus exsiccatus