Neumichtis saliaris (Guenée, 1852)
Green Cutworm
(one synonym : Euplexia spilophanes Swinhoe, 1900)
AMPHIPYRINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Neumichtis saliaris
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

Initial instars of this Caterpillar are green, but the final instar may also be brown:

Neumichtis saliaris
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

Both forms have a pair of small white posterior spots. The Caterpillar is very similar to that of the related species Neumichtis nigerrima in this regard, although the adults are more easily distinguished.

Its food plants include various garden weeds and herbaceous plants, for example:

  • Forget-me-not ( Myosotis arvensis, BORAGINACEAE ),
  • Radish ( Raphanus sativus, BRASSICACEAE ), and
  • Dock ( Rumex species, POLYGONACEAE ).

    In Tasmania, the Caterpillar of this species is a pest on:

  • Turnips ( Brassica rapa, BRASSICACEAE ),
  • Sugar Beet ( Beta vulgaris, CHENOPODIACEAE ),
  • Clover ( Trifolium species, FABACEAE ), and
  • Potato ( Solanum tuberosum, SOLANACEAE ).

    Neumichtis saliaris
    (Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

    The moth has brown patterned fore wings each with a pale crescent near the centre. The hindwings are plain brown, each with a small black and white marking near the tornus. The wingspan is about 4 cms.

    Neumichtis saliaris
    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson, listed as Eumichtis mesophoea,

    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Volume VI (1906), Plate CIV, fig. 14,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    The species occurs in south-eastern Australia, including:

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 49.16, pp. 65, 465, 467.

    Achille Guenée,
    Noctuélites,
    in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 5, Section 1 (1852), p. 212, No. 335.

    George F. Hampson,
    Noctuidae,
    Catalogue of the Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum,
    Volume 6 (1906), pp. 342-343, No. 2512, and also Plate 104, fig. 14.


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    (updated 9 August 2011)