Agrotis segetum

Turnip Moth
Binomial:Agrotis segetum
Order: Lepidoptera
Damaging stages:Caterpillar
Generations per year:Two

The Turnip Moth (Agrotis segetum) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is a common European species, but is also present in other parts of the world as a root-feeding pest of both vegetable and cereal crops. The insect is not believed to be present in the United States, where the government has been making efforts to prevent its introduction on imported food crops.[1]

Description edit

This is a very variable species with the forewings ranging from pale buff through to almost black. The paler forms have three dark-bordered stigmata on each forewing. The main distinguishing feature from other Agrotis species is the very pale hindwings, pure white in the males, pearly grey in the females. The wingspan is 32–42 mm. The grey larva, sometimes tinged with purple, feeds on the roots and lower stems of a huge range of plants (see list below).

Ecology edit

Two broods are produced each year, with the adults flying in May and June and again in August and September (in Britain). The species flies at night and is attracted to light and nectar-rich flowers. The species overwinters as a caterpillar.

Host plants edit

Control edit

References edit

  • Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
  • Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984