Variegated Cutworm, Peridroma saucia (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Variegated cutworm is found in many areas of the world. It occurs in North and South America, the Hawaiian Islands, and also portions of Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The origin of this insect is uncertain, but is thought to be Europe, where it was described in 1790. First observed in North America in 1841, it is now abundant in southern Canada and the northern United States, where it is often considered to be the most damaging cutworm pest of vegetables.
There are 2–4 generations annually, with two generations common in colder regions such as Canada, and 3–4 in warmer areas. Flights of moths are protracted, and generations are difficult to discern based on adult populations. Overwintering may occur in the pupal stage, or perhaps the larval stage, but there also is evidence that moths migrate into cooler areas from warmer latitudes each spring, and return to warmer regions in the autumn. For example, in a study conducted in Iowa, USA, 3–9% of moths collected during the...
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