Insecta, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae .
Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images
- This polyphagous moth is one of the principal enemies of cotton and maize.
In Mediterranean regions, it frequently attacks vegetable plants: tomato, artichoke, Leguminoseae, Cucurbitaceae, as well as tobacco, pink (Dianthus) and conifers.
- The caterpillar tends to be aggressive; it is carnivorous and subject to cannibalism. In temperate regions, it overwinters as a pupa buried several cm in the soil.
- Adults appear in April-May and can be observed until October because of the long migration period.
Females lay several hundred eggs on all parts of the plant, flowers and fruits included (*) .
- Eggs may hatch in less than 3 days at an optimum temperature of 27-28°C.
- The life-cycle lasts slighly more than a month.
In Italy, 2 to 4 generations are occur in a year.
The most severe damage is caused by the attack on reproductive parts such as flower buds and flower heads, capsules (*) , berries, and maize influorescences.
When still very young and small, the caterpillars burrow deep into tomatoes and are overlooked in peeled fruits intended for canning, thus causing a high rate of commercial losses.
Berries are usually three-quarters hollowed out from the outside.
In Leguminoseae, flowers are attacked and seed pods pierced.
Found practically worldwide, it is one of the major pests in tropical and subtropical regions.
DE: Baumwollkapselwurm ES: Oruga del tomate, Heliotis del tomate FR: Noctuelle de la tomate IT: Nottua del pomodoro PT: Lagarta do tomate GB: Tomato fruitworm, Old World bollworm
HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.