Tomato Looper, Chrysodeixis chalcites

Plusia chalcites is the serious pest of tomato, tobacco, cotton, crucifers, and legumes.

The Common names are golden twin spot, tomato looper; green garden looper. The synonym of this species is Chrysodeixis chalcites. It is geographically distributed in across the Europe, North Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The high level of infestation is known to be established in green houses or poly-tunnels protested vegetables and decorative plants in Morocco, Bulgaria, other North African and Mediterranean countries.

Russell IPM manufactures and supplies pheromone lure, trap and complete monitoring systems for Tomato looper moth Plusia chalcites. Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and also exhibit the density of the insect population.

Tomato Looper

Eggs are laid one at a time or in small groups on a wide range of substrates. Larvae will often drop from the leaf and hang on a silken thread when disturbed. Pupae are green with a brown dorsum, or are totally brown, and are usually attached to the underside of leaves or any suitable substrate in a silken cocoon. Adults rest with the wings folded over their back in a “tentlike” arrangement. The adult of C. chalcites is relatively easy to screen for in trap samples. The forewing has two silver spots, or stigma, which are oval in size . The ground colour of the forewing is usually golden, hence the common name golden twin spot is very appropriate (according to USDA / APHIS / PPQ PEST ALERT).

Nature of Damage

Early instar larvae are leaf skeletonizers, which means that they eat only a portion of the leaf to form an irregular network of minute clear areas. Later instars eat the entire leaf, at most leaving the midrib, or other veins. Larvae move like inch-worms, looping along, because they appear to have only two abdominal prolegs. They may also move back and forth in an arc before moving forward, almost as if they were “testing” each area before walking again. A few specimens may show a bronze-coloured forewing but the twin spots are still present. The soybean looper is most likely to be confused with C. chalcites but the male genitalia are very different.


Russell IPM manufactures and supplies pheromone lure – the Qlure, traps and complete monitoring systems for Chrysodeixis chalcites, Tomato Looper.

Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and will also alert the user to a low level of population before it becomes serious.

The lure can be best applied with the Mothcatcher trap or Delta trap.

Lures for Pest Monitoring 

Lures can be changed every 4-6 weeks to get the most accurate results.

Lures Handling
Pheromone lures are a very sensitive tool. They can be affected by exposure to elevated heat and direct sunshine. Direct touching by hand may cause cross contamination leading to mixed catches in the trap. Some contaminants such as Nicotine May have repellent effect reducing trap catch.

Lure Storage

Store in a cool dry place. Shelf life can vary from 3-36 months depending on the storage temperature. See Technical Data Sheet for further details.

Trap Selection

The Deltra trap is the most sensitive trap to use for monitoring this insect. However, Moth catcher may be used in dusty conditions or in high moth population density.

Trap Density

Do not re-use the trap to monitor different insects as this may lead to mixed catches. One trap for every two hectares of large scale fields of homogenous lands.

Two traps per hectare (2trap/ha) for small holdings and in field of uneven topography.

Trap Position

Place traps near the highest point of the plant using supporting posts approximately 1 meter high, or higher if the crop is higher.

Data and Interpretation

Collect data weekly from the start of the flight of the over wintering generation. During the height of the population more frequent reading may be needed. Decisions on pesticide application should not be taken solely on the trap catch data. Climatic and biological considerations should be taken in account.