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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


[R]Description
- 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 (*) .

[R]Biology
- 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.

[R]Damage
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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