Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Hellula rogatalis (Hulst, 1886)
Botys rogatalis Hulst, 1886
* wrongly synonomyzed with Old World Hellula undalis for over 50 years
* phylogenetic sequence #145825
One of 5 species in this genus in North America.
Wingspan 15-21 mm.
Forewing length 10-14 mm.(1)
Larva length 15-20 mm
Adult - FW brownish-yellow or grayish-yellow with wavy white AM, median, and PM lines; reniform spot smoothly-rounded, oval or kidney-shaped; ST composed of several equally-spaced black dots some distance from outer margin; HW light gray or grayish-yellow with dark terminal line and pale fringe
Larva - early instars yellowish-gray with wide dark head; later instars have five dark reddish or purplish longitudinal stripes; body covered with sparse yellow or light brown hairs; head black with V-shaped mark.
Southern United States (Florida to California), north in the east to Maryland, New York, and Ontario.
Gardens, commercial crop fields; the moths make short erratic flights when flushed from plants during the day; adults are nocturnal and attracted to light.
Adults fly from late March to October in the south; June to October in the north (often migrates north late in season).
Larvae feed on crucifers (or mustards, family Brassicaceae) and related weeds, including cabbage, turnip, beet, collard, cauliflower, kale, rutabaga, radish, kohlrabi, mustard, rape, horseradish, shepherd's purse, and purslane.
Grayish-white eggs are laid singly or in small masses near buds of young hostplants; as plants mature, more eggs are laid on underside of leaves along leaf stems; larvae feed on leaf buds and young leaves beneath a protective web made from silk-like threads; mature (fifth instar) larvae form webbed cocoons on hostplant or in soil, pupate, and emerge as adults within a week; multiple generations per year in the south; probably overwinters in soil as a pupa or larva in silk-lined cell.
Cabbage Budworm Moth
) forewing reniform spot an irregular-shaped blackish patch; terminal line consists of three main black dots - one at the apex, and two closer to anal angle, with both areas surrounded by small white patch; subterminal line lacking (unlike H. rogatalis
which has a subterminal line composed of several equally-spaced black dots); H. phidilealis
doesn't occur in California
H. aqualis is larger, has a white median area, indistinct basal and AM lines, indistinct reniform spot, and the black dots in the terminal line are not surrounded by white patches.
Allyson, S. 1981. Description of the last instar larva of the cabbage webworm, Hellula rogatalis
(Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), with a key to larvae of North American speceis of Hellula
Guenée. The Canadian Entomologist 113(5): 361-364 (abstract
Capps, H. W. 1953. A correction in the synonomy of the cabbage webworm (Hellula undalis
(F.) (Lepidoptera: Pyraustidae). Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 52(2): 45-47
Hulst, G. D. 1886. Descriptions of new Pyralidae. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 13: 149
Powell, J. A. & P. A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press. pl.22.13m, p.172 (1)
pinned adult image
by John Glaser, plus dates and locations (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image
(Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
presence in California
list of 19 specimens with locations and dates (U. of California at Berkeley)
presence in Florida; list
(John Heppner, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
presence in Ontario; list
(NHIC; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)
- Forestry Service photos of larva and adult