Home / Noctuid Moths (Noctuidae) / Yellow Striped Armyworm Moth (Spodoptera ornithogalli)

Yellow Striped Armyworm Moth (Spodoptera ornithogalli)

The yellow striped armyworm moth is a noctuid moth, first described by French entomologist Achille Guenée in 1852.

Yellow Striped Armyworm Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Noctuidae
  • Genus: Spodoptera
  • Scientific Name: Spodoptera ornithogalli

Description and Identification


The larvae are pale gray or black, with two black triangular spots on each segment and a yellow stripe on each side. Their skin tends to be smooth, and their head capsule is brown with black markings.

Generally, these caterpillars go through six instars, however, seven instars have also been recorded.

Yellow Striped Armyworm Moth Caterpillar



They pupate underground in a cell lined with thin silk threads.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

Forewings: When the wings are open, they are brownish-gray, heavily patterned with light and dark markings, and a white band near the edge. When the wings are closed, the patterns remain visible.

Hindwings: When the wings are open, they are opaque-white, with a thin brown border at the edge. When the wings are closed, the white color is no longer visible.

Average wingspan: 32–44 mm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: April to November 

Spodoptera ornithogalli



Eggs are pink-green, with 45-58 edges. They measure 0.46 to 0.52 mm in diameter and 0.38 to 0.40 mm in height. Females lay 200-500 eggs at a time under the leaves of the host plants.

Quick Facts

Other NamesCotton Cutworm
DistributionIn the Americas, including most of the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America
HabitatNot recorded
Lifespan of Adults17 days
Host PlantsAlfalfa, asparagus, bean, beet, cabbage, clover, corn, cotton, cucumber, grape, grass, jimsonweed, morning glory, onion, pea, peach, peanut, pokeweed, sweet potato, tobacco, tomato, turnip, wheat, watermelon, and wild onion
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • There have been reports of this moth appearing in Denmark via asparagus imports in 2020 and Japan. Still, these have been sporadic, and the species has not been considered to inhabit these countries yet.
  • This moth is often confused with the African cotton leafworm, however, the latter is lighter and has more minor markings.
Cotton Cutworm


Yellow Striped Armyworm Moth Image


Yellow Striped Armyworm Moth Picture


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