Saturday, January 14, 2012

Armyworm Moth (Mythimna unipuncta - 10438)

Armyworm Moth
(Mythimna unipuncta - 10438)

Identification: Forewing tan, often tinged with orange and lightly speckled with black. A couple of more orange spots on each wing is typical. Ditto for a couple of small white dots with a white line passing through them.

Habitat: Common to abundant throughout North American except for the Arctic. Also found in other locations throughout the world.

Food: Larvae are generalist feeders on many species of plants: alfalfa, corn and other grains, grasses, vegetables, many weeds and other wild plants, leaves of fruit trees and ornamentals.

Life Cycle: Two or three generations per year; overwinters as either a pupa or partially-grown larva which pupates in the spring.

Remarks: Moth was photographed on moth bait, a mixture that's mostly brown sugar with enough beer to liquify and a tablespoon of molasses. It supposedly mimics tree sap upon which many moths feed.

To see photos of this moth's complete life cycle including caterpillar, pupa and adult moth, please see Ilona Loser's excellent post on BugGuide.



Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a great photo. Are they out and about in your area? They would be frozen here if they were out now. 12F this morning. Brrrrr. Winter found us.

Crafty Green Poet said...

What a lovely moth. I keep trying to learn more moth identification, but so many of them are really tricky...

Marvin said...

Lisa: No, photo was taken back on 12/20/11. I've seen a few moth in 2012 thanks to our unseasonably mild weather, but none since this recent Arctic blast.

Marvin said...

Juliet: This species is very common here. I knew it. But, on most IDs, I get lots of help from those more knowledgeable than I.