[R] Largest family of lepidopterous insects; moths nocturnal, the colour and pattern of fore wings often mimicking the surroundings; larvae phytophagous (with the exception of one predacious species of scale insect), seldom endophytic. Certain larvae possess only a reduced number of abdominal prolegs and are semiloopers. Others are terricolous.
This family comprises some of the most destructive pests of crops. Important European examples are the turnip moth (Agrotis segetum), the dark sword grass moth (Agrotis ipsilon), the silver y moth (Autographa gamma), the garden dart moth (Euxoa nigricans), Gortyna xanthenes , the (Helicoverpa armigera), the cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae), the tomato moth (Mamestra oleracea), the army worm (Mythimna unipunctata) and the (Spodoptera littoralis).
HYPPZ on line: Species (scientific names), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.