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Species Agrotis ipsilon - Ipsilon Dart - Hodges#10663

Ipsilon Dart  - Agrotis ipsilon Noctuidae: Agrotis ipsilon? - Agrotis ipsilon 10663 Ipsilon Dart - Agrotis ipsilon - female Noctuidae: Agrotis ipsilon - Agrotis ipsilon Noctuidae: Agrotis ipsilon - Agrotis ipsilon Noctuidae: Agrotis ipsilon - Agrotis ipsilon Agrotis stigmosa - Agrotis ipsilon - male 9049976 moth - Agrotis ipsilon
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 Noctuini
Subtribe Agrotina
Genus Agrotis
Species ipsilon (Ipsilon Dart - Hodges#10663)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Black Cutworm (larva)
Greasy Cutworm (larva)
Dark Sword-Grass Moth (adult)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel, 1766)
First described in 1767 by Johann Siegfried Hufnagel as Phalaena ipsilon
Phylogenetic sequence # 933528
Explanation of Names
Ipsilon is probably a spelling variant of the name for the Greek letter upsilon (Υ υ): the black wedges on the adult's forewing resemble the shape of this character.
Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed 23 species of the genus Agrotis in America north of Mexico. (1)
Forewing length 18-24 mm. (2)
Larvae to 45 mm.
Adult: forewing yellowish-brown to purplish, shaded with dark brown to blackish along costa in male - or over most of wing to PM line in female; antennae bipectinate in male (only in basal half, simple at apical one-third (TT))- simple in female; small black wedge descends from reniform spot, and another black wedge ascends from outer margin (sometimes the two wedges meet to form an hourglass shape); AM and PM lines double; reniform, orbicular, and claviform spots outlined in black; hindwing dirty white with grayish-brown shading.

            ♂                               ♀

Larva: body light gray to black on top, lighter below; two light stripes and two rows of small, black, raised bumps (tubercles) down center of back; cuticle covered with large and small granules; head brownish with many dark spots; sutures on front of head form inverted "V".
All of United States and southern Canada (absent from the arctic).
Croplands, fields and gardens.
Adults can be found year round in the south and fly May through November in northern areas.
The larvae feed on many cultivated plants (e.g. clover, corn, lettuce, potatoes, tobacco) plus grasses.
Life Cycle
There are one or more generations per year, depending on latitude.
female with eggs; eggs; first instar larvae; larvae; older larva; pupa
The larva are a major pest on many commercial farms.
Print References
Lafontaine, J.D., 2004. The Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 27.1. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, p. 250; pl. L.36-38. (3)
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press, pl. 58, fig. 5; p. 313. (2)
Internet References
pinned adult image of male (CBIF)
live adult images of male and female, plus description, food plants, flight season (Lynn Scott, Ontario)
pinned adult image of female (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
adult images (Larry Line, Maryland)
detailed overview of distribution, food plants, biology, control methods etc. (U. of Hawaii)