back to HYPP Zoology home page

Mamestra oleracea (L.)
Polia oleracea, Melanchra oleracea, Lacanobia oleracera

Insecta, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae .

Bright-line brown-eyes moth

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

- Adult: 40 mm wingspan. Brown fore wings with a slightly reddish sheen and a white line, zig-zagging in their middle, parallel to the external border; greyish hind wings, lighter than the fore ones. Brown-red thorax, lighter abdomen. Hind tibia lacking a hooked terminal spur (*) .
- Egg: almost hemispherical, flattened on the substratum, extremely bright uniform green, 0.18 mm diameter.
- Larva: 35 to 40 mm, glabrous, green to dark brown with a yellowish or greenish band on the flanks and a brownish dorsal band. Each segment bears 4 small dark plates.

- The eggs are deposited principally on brassicas and red beet but also on asparagus and various other plants.
- Adult: markedly nocturnal, the moth feeds on nectar from various plants, especially lilac (Syringa vulgaris) and honeysuckle (Lonicera). During the day, it stays still, resting on a wall or hidden in the grass. Egg laying occurs soon after emergence. The female lays up to a thousand eggs in decreasing groups of importance (of about 150 units), on the underside of the leaves of host plants (*) .
- Egg: embryonic development lasts only a day or two.
- Larva: 5 to 6 moults. The caterpillar feeds at night, rarely during the day: it moves along and eats across the leaves (*) . If disturbed, it drops at the end of a silk thread and remains still. During the day, it hides. Its development lasts a month.

[R]Life Cycle
- 1 annual generation, sometimes 2.
- The moths appear towards mid-June. The caterpillars complete their development and pupat in August. Some remain in diapause until the next spring, others produce a second generation in September and October.

The damage caused by the bright-line brown-eye moth on cabbage and red beet is generally slight.

[R]Common Names
DE: Gemüseeule ES: Noctuido de las hortalizas FR: Noctuelle potagčre IT: Nottua degli orti PT: Nóctua das hortas GB: Tomato moth, Bright-line brown-eyes moth

[R] Images

  1. Mamestra oleracea (L.) Moth on a beet leaf (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  2. Mamestra oleracea (L.) Egg laying on the underside of a beet leaf (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  3. Mamestra oleracea (L.) Larva and damage on beet (Coutin R. / OPIE)

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

back to HYPP Zoology home page