Chrysodeixis eriosoma (Doubleday): Green Garden Looper

California Pest Rating for
Chrysodeixis eriosoma (Doubleday): Green Garden Looper
Lepidoptera: Noctuidae
Pest Rating: A

Initiating Event:

Chrysodeixis eriosoma is frequently intercepted by CDFA.  A pest rating proposal is required to support its pest rating.

History & Status:

BackgroundChrysodeixis eriosoma is a polyphagous moth whose caterpillars feed on a wide variety of agricultural and ornamental plants1.  The moth has continuous overlapping generations throughout the year1,2.  Eggs are deposited singly on the underside of leaves and hatch in about 6 days1.  The young larvae consume one side of the leaf1.  As they grow larger they chew holes through the leaf and feed on the leaf margin, flowers, and fruits1.  Some of the known hosts include: Acanthaceae: acanthus (Acanthus mollis2), black-eyed susan (Thunbergia alata2); Amaranthaceae: redroot (Amaranthus hybridus2), beet (Beta vulgaris2); Araliaceae: paper plant (Fatsia japonica2); Asteraceae: Ageratum sp.2, Aster sp.2, rangiora (Brachyglottis repanda2), Chrysanthemum sp.2, scotch thistle (Cirsium vulgare2), Dahlia sp.2, sunflower (Helianthus annuus2), Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus2), lettuce (Lactuca sativa2), cineraria (Senecio cineraria2), Senecio petasitis2; Bignoniaceae: 3 kings vine (Tecomanthe speciosa2); Boraginaceae: borage (Borago officinalis2), Echium vulgare2, Chatham island lilies (Myosotidium hortensia2), forget-me-not (Myosotis spp.2); comfrey (Symphytum spp.2); Brassicaceae: horseradish (Armaracia rusticana2), cabbage and broccoli (Brassica oleracea2), Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis2), turnip (Brassica rapa2), radish (Raphanus sativus2); Buddlejaceae: buddleja (Buddeia davidii2); Caricaceae: pawpaw (Carica pubescens2); Caryophyllaceae: carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus2); Chenopodiaceae: fathen (Chenopodium album2); Convulvulaceae: morning glory (Ipomoea acuminata2), kumara (Ipomoea batatas2); Cucurbitaceae: watermelon (Citrullus lanatus2), cucumber (Cucumis sativus2); rockmelon (Cucumis melo2), pumpkin and zucchini (Cucurbita pepo2); Fabaceae: lucerne (Medicago sativa2), beans (Phaseolus spp.2), pea (Pisum sativum2); Geraniaceae: geranium (Pelargonium sp.); Lamiaceae: coleus (Coleus x hybridus2), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis2), mint (Mentha spp.2), basil (Ocimum basilicum2), majoram (Origanum majorana2), sage (Salvia spp.2), thyme (Thymus vulgaris2); Liliaceae: Renga lilies (Arthropodium cirrhatum2); Malvaceae: hibiscus (Abelmoschus esculentus2), hollyhock (Althea rosea2); Mimosaceae: Acacia spp.2; Passifloraceae: passion-fruit (Passiflora edulis2), banana passionfruit (Passiflora mollissima); Plantaginaceae: plantain (Plantago sp.2); Poaceae: corn (Zea mays2); Polygonaceae: willow weed (Polygonum persicaria2), rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum2); Scrophulariaceae: foxglove (Digitalis purpurea2), mullein (Verbascum thapsus2); Solanaceae: bell pepper (Capsicum annum2), tree tomato (Cyphomandra betacea2), Datura candida2, tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum2), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum2), cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana2), poroporo (Solanum aviculare2), woolly nightshade (Solanum mauritianum2), eggplant (Solanum melongera2), black nightshade (Solanum nigrum2), potato (Solanum tuberosum2), blue potato vine (Solanum wendlandii2); Urticaceae: nettle (Urtica sp.2); Violaceae: Viola sp.2.  Eggs, caterpillars, or pupae of Chrysodeixis eriosoma may be transported long distances when infested plants or fresh plant parts are moved.

Worldwide Distribution: Chrysodeixis eriosoma is probably native to Australia or New Zealand.  It has spread through much of Asia, Africa, Southern Europe, and the Pacific1.  It was first found in Hawaii in 1877 and now occurs on all islands1.

Official Control: Chrysodeixis eriosoma is listed as a harmful organism by Costa Rica and Japan3.  All species of Chrysodeixis are listed as harmful by Japan and the Republic of Korea3.

California DistributionChrysodeixis eriosoma has never been found in the environment of California.

California InterceptionsChrysodeixis eriosoma has been intercepted 507 times by CDFA’s high risk programs and dog teams.  Interceptions have occurred on plants and fresh plant parts from Hawaii and Florida.

The risk Chrysodeixis eriosoma (green garden looper) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Host plants of Chrysodeixis eriosoma are widely grown in California and the moth may be expected to establish wherever suitable hosts are available. Green garden looper is expected to establish a widespread distribution in the state and receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score: 3

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Chrysodeixis eriosoma is polyphagous on a wide variety of plants in at least 27 families.  It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score: 3

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Each female Chrysodeixis eriosoma can lay over 2000 eggs2 and can complete a generation in as little as 33-35 days1.  They are strong flyers and may be transported long distances on plants or fresh plant parts.  Green garden looper receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score: 3

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Although Chrysodeixis eriosoma may cause significant defoliation, it has never been documented to lower crop yields.  It may lower the value of nursery stock by disfiguring plants while feeding.  Several of California’s trading partners list green garden looper as a harmful organism.  Also, the moth has a limited distribution in North and South America.  If the moth were to establish in California there could be disruptions of markets for Californian agricultural commodities.  Chrysodeixis eriosoma receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below.

Economic Impact: B, C

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Economic Impact Score: 2

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Chrysodeixis eriosoma is not likely to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem processes.  It may feed on threatened or endangered plants including Ashland thistle (Cirsium ciliolatum), fountain thistle (Cirsium fontinale fontinale), chorro creek bog thistle (Cirsium fontinale var. obispoense), suisun thistle (Cirsium hydrophilum var. hydrophilum), La Graciosa thistle (Cirsium loncholepis), surf thistle (Cirsium rhothophilum), and scott’s valley polygonum (Polygonum hickmanii). The moth is not expected to disrupt critical habitats.  Green garden looper may trigger treatment programs in the nursery industry and by residents who find infested plants unsightly.  Chrysodeixis eriosoma is not expected to impact cultural practices, home/urban gardening, or ornamental plantings.  It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

Environmental Impact: B, D

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact.

Environmental Impact Score: 3

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Chrysodeixis eriosoma (Green Garden Looper):  High (14)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Chrysodeixis eriosoma has never been found in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (14)


Chrysodeixis eriosoma is frequently intercepted by CDFA.  It presumably enters the state undetected at other times.  There have been no recent surveys for this moth.  It could be established in some localities.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Chrysodeixis eriosoma has never been found in California and is expected to have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to establish.  An “A” rating is justified.


1 University of Hawaii Crop Knowledge Master.  Chryssodeixis eriosoma (Doubleday).  Green Garden Looper.

2 Roberts, L.I.N. 1979. Biology of Chrysodeixis eriosoma (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 7(1):52-58.

3 USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211,[@]

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Pest Rating: A

Posted by ls