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Species Spodoptera praefica - Western Yellowstriped Armyworm - Hodges#9667

Spodoptera praefica Unknown caterpillar - Spodoptera praefica Yellow Western Striped Armyworm - Spodoptera praefica Yellow Western Striped Armyworm - Spodoptera praefica Spodoptera ornithogalli ? - Spodoptera praefica Unknowm Moth - Spodoptera praefica Western Yellowstriped Armyworm Moth - Spodoptera praefica ? Plusiinae, to blacklite - Spodoptera praefica
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea
Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Noctuinae (Cutworm or Dart Moths)
Tribe Prodeniini
Genus Spodoptera (Armyworms)
Species praefica (Western Yellowstriped Armyworm - Hodges#9667)
Hodges Number
9667
Size
wingspan 35-40 mm
larva length to 40 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing variably grayish-brown to yellowish-brown with pale scaling along veins; oblique yellowish shade line extends across orbicular spot toward PM line; basal, AM, PM, and ST lines irregular, pale yellow or white; hindwing pale gray with dark veins and discal lunule, thin dark terminal line, and white fringe

Larva: head black with inverted white Y shape on front; body black with prominent white or yellow dorsolateral line; 3 stripes along each side - a gray one near the top, a black one below that, and a reddish-brown one below that
Range
British Columbia to California, east to Utah, north to Alberta
Season
adults fly in March and April, and again in August and September
larvae present from May to July, and again in the fall before pupating
Food
larvae feed on leaves of crops such as alfalfa, potato, rice, sugarbeet, and sweet potato, plus various other herbaceous plants
Life Cycle
two generations per year; overwinters as a pupa in the soil
See Also
Yellow-striped Armyworm (S. ornithogalli) forewing is usually grayer and shows more contrast between pale and dark areas; it is a mostly eastern species - the ranges of both species overlap only in California (compare images of both species at CBIF and MPG)
Internet References
live larva and adult images by Ralph Berry, plus overview of biology (Oregon State U.)
pinned adult image (G.G. Anweiler, U. of Alberta)
pinned adult image (California Dept. of Food and Agriculture)
pinned adult image and photos of related species by Jim Vargo (Moth Photographers Group)
images of Cotesia marginiventris a braconid wasp parasitoid of noctuid larvae, including Spodoptera praefica (Michael Sharkey, U. of Kentucky)
flickr.com - young larva image
presence in Utah; list (Joel Johnson, Utah Lepidopterists Society)
presence in California; list (U. of California at Berkeley)
distribution in Canada list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)