(one synonym : Pseudaletia evansi Holloway, 1977)
HADENINAE, NOCTUIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
This Caterpillar is brown, with dashed black stripes along the back, and two wide pale stripes along the sides. The two dorsal stripes continue over the thorax and head. The head is also stippled in black and brown.
It is an agricultural pest, causing damage to pastures and crops. It hides by day, and feeds nocturnally on many plants, including :
They are called 'Army Worms' because of their habit of spreading out in a line across a lawn or pasture, and marching across it (somewhat slowly) consuming the foliage as they go.
The adult moth has slender speckled rusty brown forewings with variable vague markings, each forewing usually with a black-edged white dot near the middle, next to a reddish smudge. Sometimes it has an angled submarginal line of dark dots.
The hindwings are buff with dark veins and a broad dark margin. The hindwings have sinuous margins. The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The species is migratory, and occurs across most of Australia, including
Attempts to control the pest include :
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 50.2, pp. 45, 56, 59, 65, 466.
Peter Marriott & Marilyn Hewish,
Moths of Victoria - Part 9,
Cutworms and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (C),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2020, pp. 25, 28-29.
Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 11 (1857), p. 711.
(updated 12 January 2013, 1 December 2014, 27 January 2021)