Ciampa species

Family: Geometridae

Order: Lepidoptera


Night flying moths with eyes that reflect orange light. Attracted to lights.
Colour - Brown or grey. Often with silvery or coppery tints
Body - Medium size. Flat. Long hair scales.
Wings - 2 Pairs. Membranous. Hairy. Wing-span 30-60 mm
Mouthparts -
Antennae - 3 segments.
Legs - Broad overlapping scales. Feet (Tarsi) have 5 segments.
Head - Broad overlapping scales. Large rounded compound eyes.
Thorax - Broad overlapping scales. 3 segments. Front segment much smaller. Hairy
Abdomen - Broad overlapping scales. 7-11 segments. Spiracles on segments 1-7. Hairy
Egg -
Habits - Can't fly when cold. Often lie flat on stems or bark.
Caterpillar -
Colour - Green, grey, brown or black.
Body - Slender. 20-60 mm long, 3-10 mm wide.
Mouthparts - Chewing.
Antennae - Short. 3 segments.
Legs - 5 segments. Single claw on end. No legs near the middle of the body.
Head - Hard.
Thorax - 10-11 segments. Spiracles on segments 1 to 8. Prolegs on segments 3, 6 and 10.
Abdomen -
Habits - Herbivorous. Moves in a looping action. The front legs are moved forward and then body forms a loop to bring the rear legs up to just behind the front legs. Usually more active at night. Some remain motionless all day, laying close to the stem or jutting out like a twig.
Pupa - Flimsy cocoon on the underside of leaf.


Life Cycle:

Caterpillar eats the leaves and stems.


Origin and History:



Native to Australia. Caterpillar is a pest of a wide variety of plants. They strip the leaf to the mid rib or leave scalloped margins. Green looper (Chrysodeixis eriosoma) is a minor pest of many plants and ferns. Brown looper (Lophodes sinistraria) is a minor pest of macadamias. Grevillea looper (Oenochroma vinaria) can cause significant damage to Grevilleas and Hakeas. Chlenias spp. may attack Pinus radiata. Brown Pasture Looper (Ciampa arietaria) is a minor pest of pastures, Erodium and capeweed.

Management and Control:

Related Species:

Armyworm, Bogong moth, Cluster caterpillar, Common Armyworm, Corn Earworm, Cutworms, Helicoverpa or Heliothis, Inland Armyworm, Loopers, Native budworm, Southern Armyworm.
Plusia species are similar and occur in Europe and Central America but not Australia.

Similar Species:


CSIRO. The Insects of Australia. Melbourne University Press. (1991) p889-891, 914.

Goode, J. Insects of Australia. Angus and Robertson. p174-175.

Jones, D. & Elliot, R. Pests Diseases and Ailments of Australian Plants. Lothian Publishing Co. p140-145.

Froggatt, W.W. Australian Insects. William Brooks & Co. p266, 267pic.


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