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Brown pasture looper

Scientific name

Ciampa arietaria


Larvae are up to 25 mm long and are dark brown to grey with a yellow line and pale stripe running down either side of the back and a row of red spots on either side of the body. Larvae move with a looping action. Moths are 20 mm long and are pale dusty brown with grey and brown streaking on the forewings. Wings are held over the body when at rest.

Similar species

Other loopers.


A native which occurs in all Australian winter oilseed areas.

Crops attacked

Canola, lupins and broadleaf pastures. Capeweed is a favoured host.


Larvae feed on leaves. Older larvae can move in large numbers into crops, resulting in severe defoliation.

Risk period

Vegetative stage.

Life cycle

One generation per year. Moths fly from March to June and eggs are laid at this time. The eggs hatch and caterpillars grow to full size in about two months, pupate and remain in the pupal stage over spring and summer, when they emerge as moths in the next season.


Check crops during establishment particularly around the perimeter of the crop or areas where capeweed is present.

Further information

Last updated 25 October 2010