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Mythimna unipunctata (Haworth)
Cirphis unipunctata, Pseudaletia unipunctata

Insecta, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae .

Army worm

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


[R]Description
- Adult: Moth with a wingspan of about 35 mm. The mahogany-brown fore wings are marked at their centre by a small white spot and, towards the borders by small black points disposed longitudinaly. The hind wings are dirty grey.
- Eggs: whitish disposed in lines containing 10 to 40 eggs.
- Larva: 30 to 35 mm, round head, greenish yellow with a few dark lines; greenish to reddish brown body with 3 whitish longitudinal dorsal lines; yellow longitudinal lateral band.

[R]Biology
- Host plants: meadow grasses: agrostis, timothy, as well as maize, sorghum, millet, oats, rice, lucerne, clover, flax, rape, etc.
- Adult: the moths fly at night, as early as dusk. They mate and lay eggs a few days after they have appeared. Fecundity: about 700 eggs whose embryonic development lasts 8 to 10 days.
- Larva: the caterpillars feed on stems and leaves of grasses. When young, they are mainly sedentary; they feed at night and take cover during the day, on the host plant or near the ground. Olderlarvae can be active both day and night, particularly if the temperature is high. When mass infestations occur, they tend to assemble and move about in troops which can contain hundreds of thousands of individuals.
- Pupa: development lasts 3 to 4 weeks.

[R]Life Cycle
- 3 generations per year.
- Hibernation is limited to the final-instar larva or of the pupa whose very slow development continues during all winter. Pupation can take place in winter,but is more frequently in April-May. The moths fly mid-May. At the end of their growth, the caterpillars pupate in the ground.
- The second flight occurs in July-August and the third in September-October. An important population rise occurs between the first and the third flights.

[R]Damage
The summer generation may cause serious damage to sorghum and especially maize. The moths from this generation tend to assemble; they then oviposit in lawns and meadows, particularly in temporary meadows. The caterpillars of the next generation reach their final size during October-beginning of November and can be extremely injurious: each attacked plant is gnawed to the root and the meadow can be destroyed.


[R]Common Names
DE: Punktierte Eule ES: Rosquilla FR: Noctuelle ponctuée IT: Nottua delle graminacee PT: Lagarta invasora das gramíneas GB: Army worm

[R] Images

  1. Mythimna unipunctata (Haworth) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Caterpillars and damage on plantlets of maize
  2. Mythimna unipunctata (Haworth) Moth (Lucchi / University of Pise)

To read this page in French

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

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