Other Common Names
Yellow-striped Armyworm (larva)
Cotton Cutworm (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Spodoptera ornithogalli (Guenée, 1852)
Prodenia ornithogalli (Guenée, 1852
Long list of synonyms due to the very large range to South America.
Phylogenetic sequence # 932219
Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed 11 species of the genus in America north of Mexico. (1)
Adult: forewing brown with bluish-brown shading inside AM line and near apex and anal angle; oblique yellowish shade line extends across orbicular spot and almost to PM line; white mark below reniform spot forks to form a sideways Y shape; lower median area dark gray (or orangish-yellow in form "flavimedia"); hindwing translucent white with blackish veins and terminal line. [adapted from description by Charles Covell]
Larva: smooth-skinned, pale gray to black with yellowish-orange stripe along each side and two black triangular spots on top of most segments; head capsule brown with black markings and white inverted V shape
California, to Colorado and Florida, througout all of eastern United states and southeastern Canada.) (2)
West Indies, Mexico to Brazil. (9)
Moth Photographers Group
- large map with some distribution data.
Adults are most often reported from March to November. Florida and Texas have adults reported every month of the year. (10)
Larvae feed on many herbaceous plants, including alfalfa, asparagus, bean, beet, cabbage, clover, corn, cotton, cucumber, grape, grass, jimsonweed, morning glory, onion, pea, peach, peanut, pokeweed, sweet potato, tobacco, tomato, turnip, wheat, watermelon, and wild onion.
Overwinters as pupae in soil. Adult emergence begins in early April and continues into May. Egg masses placed on foliage, trees, or buildings. Eggs hatch in about 6 days, and larvae feed for 3 weeks. Sixth instar larvae burrow into soil to pupate. Moths emerge in two weeks. Entire life cycle takes 4-6 weeks. Three to four generations per year.
Life cycle images:
egg cluster; larva; larva; older larva; pupa; adult
- very similar but do not occur east of the Rockies.
Covell p. 134, plate 28 (11)
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America
. University of California Press. p. 294.(12)