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Species Dargida diffusa - Wheat Head Armyworm - Hodges#10431

Moth - Dargida diffusa Dargida diffusa Moth to blacklight - Dargida diffusa Dargida diffusa? – Wheat Head Armyworm Moth? - Dargida diffusa Dargida diffusa Dargida diffusa North Central TX - Dargida diffusa Noctuidae - Dargida diffusa Dargida diffusa
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Noctuinae (Cutworm or Dart Moths)
Tribe Hadenini
Genus Dargida
Species diffusa (Wheat Head Armyworm - Hodges#10431)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Dargida diffusa (Walker, 1856)
Leucania diffusa Walker, 1856
Faronta diffusa (Walker, 1856)
Leucania albilinea of authors not Hübner, [1821]
Leucania harveyi Grote, 1873
Leucania moderata Walker, 1856
Faronta terrapictalis Buckett, 1969 (this can be treated as a subspecies) (1)
Dargida diffusa diffusa (Walker, 1856) (Leucania)
Dargida diffusa obscurior (Smith, 1902) (Leucania)
Dargida diffusa limitata (Smith, 1902) (Leucania)
Dargida diffusa neptis (Smith, 1902) (Leucania)
Phylogenetic sequence # 932928.
Explanation of Names
"diffusa" means widespread, probably referring to the range.
Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed eight species of the genus Dargida in America north of Mexico. (2)
Forewing length 12-16 mm.(3)
Adult: pale yellowish ground color similar to Wainscot moths (Leucania spp.) but forewing has less streaking; the central longitudinal stripe breaks up before reaching the outer edge of the wing, dissolving into a broad delta-shaped gray area that stretches from the anal angle to the apex.
Specimen identified by DNA analysis (BOLD). (4)


Larvae: range from several shades of green, yellow and pink to brownish. There is a pale middorsal line and a supraspiracular black band. The spiracles are light yellow with black rims.(3)
mostly e NA to the Rockies - Map (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (3), (10)
Adults usually fly from March through October.(3)
Larvae feed on seed heads of cereal crops and grasses especially timothy grass.
Considered a pest of corn and wheat.(3)
See Also
Compare on the pinned plates of Moth Photographers Group
Print References
Buckett, J.S. 1967 [1969]. A new species of armyworm. Journal of research on the Lepidoptera. 6(4): 268.
Powell, J.A., and P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press, pl. 55, fig. 40; p. 304.(3)
Smith, J.B.1902. Contributions toward a monograph of the Lepidopterous family Noctuidae of boreal North America. Revision of the moths referred to the genus Leucania, with descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 25: 159-203. (albilinea, p. 185; obscurior, p. 186; diffusa, p. 186; limitata , p. 187; neptis, p. 188)
Walker, F., 1856. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 9: 94.