(erroneously : Agrotis ypsilon)
NOCTUINAE , NOCTUIDAE , NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France)
The scientific name of this species reflects the marking on the forewing of the adult moth which resembles the Greek character Ipsilon.
The Caterpillar is a worldwide pest, attacking leaves, stems, and roots of many agricultural crops, including :
The adult moth has brown forewings and a dumb-bell mark in the centre of each wing, like other species in the Agrotis genus, but specifically has a paler area around the tips of the forewings. The hind wings are buff, darkening to the margin, with dark veins. The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms. The pheromones of this species have been identified.
One female adult moth can lay over 1,000 eggs. They are laid in clutches of a dozen or so on leaves of plants in damp areas. The eggs hatch in about 5 days.
The species has migratory habits. The species occurs world-wide, for example:
and the subspecies aneituma occurs in Australia in:
although it is endemic only in the warmer half of the continent.
Possible control measures, depending on the crop, include :
Further reading :
Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 252.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 50.4, pp. 55, 64, 467.
Johann Siegfried Hufnagel,
Forsetzung der Tabelle von den Nachtvögeln: IV,
Volume 3, Part 4 (1766), p. 416, No. 99.
(updated 15 April 2013)