Insecta, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae .
Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images
- Host plants: the larvae first attack the leaves of certain wild plants, then, in cultivated plots, the leaves of red beet, potatoes, cereals, flax, vegetables and even nursery plants.
- Adult: the moths, generally nocturnal, fly very rapidly, either alone or in small groups, sometimes in swarms which can be composed of millions of individuals travelling over hundreds of kilometers.
- Larva: the caterpillar is especially active during the night: it nibbles the lamina of leaves and cuts the leaf-stalks (petioles). During the day, it remains pressed against the underside of the leaves. Larval development lasts about a month.
- Pupa: the larva pupates in the folds of the leaves of the host plant (*) and the adults emerge 10 to 15 days later.
- The importance of the migrations leads to a geographical distribution of the species which differs considerably from season to season, so there is no distinct development cycle in any given place. The common silver y moth is common in North Africa and in the Mediterranean basin during winter; in summer, it occurs as far north as Scotland and Finland.
- The adults fly in the Paris region from the end of May to the beginning of June. A second flight takes place generally at the end of July.
In years of swarming, colonies of thousands of individuals invade cultivated fields (red beet, potato, etc.). The older caterpillars are particularly voracious (*) . Such invasions enable the development of numerous natural enemies of the caterpillar, particularly certain viral diseases whose effect is such that the second generation is almost non-existant.
HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.