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Mamestra brassicae (L.)
Barathra brassicae

Insecta, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae .

Cabbage army moth, cabbage moth

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- Adult: 40 to 45 mm wingspan. Greenish-brown fore wings with blackish-brown transversal undulations alternating with clearer areas. Light grey hind wings (*) .
- Eggs: hemispherical with a small central protuberance, they are grouped in egg-rafts of 20 to 30 eggs deposited on the underside of the leaves (*) .
- Larva: 40 to 45 mm, smooth green to greyish-brown body with a whitish medio-dorsal line. On each segment there are 4 large black spots forming a square (*) .

- Host plants: Cruciferaceae (cabbage, turnip), tobacco, red beet, flax, lettuce, chicory, etc.
- Egg: embryonic development lasts 10 to 15 days.
- Larva: the young caterpillars remain clustered during the first instare. They moult 5 times. Holding on to the underside of the leaves, they nibble the bottom of the limb (*) . Their growth lasts about 2 months; they then burrow into the superficial layer of the ground and pupate (first generation) or enter diapause (second generation).

[R]Life Cycle
- 2 generations per year in general.
- The moths appear in May-June. The second flight takes place from end July to the beginning of September and the caterpillars develop from August to October.

They occur particularly in June, then in September. The caterpillars destroy a large number of leaves and their frass accumulates in the central part of the cabbage or plant on which they develop (*) (*) .

[R]Common Names
DE: Kohleule ES: Noctuido de la col FR: Noctuelle du chou IT: Nottua del cavolo PT: Mamestra das couves GB: Cabbage moth, Cabbage army moth

[R] Images

  1. Mamestra brassicae (L.) (BASF)
    Caterpillars on cauliflower
  2. Mamestra brassicae (L.) Moth (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  3. Mamestra brassicae (L.) Laying eggs on a cabbage leaf (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  4. Mamestra brassicae (L.) Larva (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  5. Mamestra brassicae (L.) Larva and damage on cabbage (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  6. Mamestra brassicae (L.) Damage on cabbage Note the numerous perforations in the apple leaves caused by larvae which penetrate deeply into the heart of the cabbage.

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