Mature beet armyworms tunnel into the soil about an inch or three and form a cell in which they pupate. They change from green to light brown before hatching. Laid in groups on leaves, and are covered in cottony whitish scales. Digital Guide to Moth Identification about viewing options View by Region select region. This Factsheet has not been peer reviewed. Weeds infested include feverfew, lambsquarters, mullein, pigweed, purslane, portulaca, and Russian thistle. Thus, here only a small portion of the population is treated with insecticides so that any acquired resistance is swamped out by moths that were never sprayed as caterpillars. N.C. Publication date: Sept. 26, 2016 Hindwing translucent white with gray veins and shading at outer margin. The wingspan is an inch or slightly more. Fall Armyworm (left) Beet Armyworm (right) Beet Armyworm. The pupal stage lasts about a week although overwintering pupae develop much longer. Most of the pyrethroid insecticides labeled for residential landscapes should give adequate control. Fall armyworms have a dark head with a pale, up- side-down Y-shape on the front. The use of Bt cotton varieties has greatly reduced the risk of infestations, and economically damaging infestations in cotton are rare. In the British Isles, where it is an introduced species and not known to breed, the adult moth is known as the small mottled willow moth. All rights reserved. In some areas beet armyworm may be the most important caterpillar attacking tomato. Faculty/Staff/Graduate Student Directory. Beet armyworms eat irregular holes in foliage, eventually skeletonizing the leaves. It rarely overwinters in areas where frost kills its host plants. pale green or yellow in color during first and second instars, but acquire pale stripes during third instar. Eggs are laid in masses of 15 to 150 mostly on the undersides of leaves and mostly within four inches above the soil. Young beet armyworms hatch, âweb up,â and feed together on leaves. During fourth instar larvae are darker dorsally and possess a dark lateral stripe. The beet armyworm has several generations per year. They also bore into flower buds. Note round, white orbicular spot with gray dot in the center. Young beet armyworms web foliage together and feed within this shelter. N.C. Older larvae feed on the open leaves and are more accessible, but they are more tolerant of pesticides. It is also known as the asparagus fern caterpillar. Indians. Spodoptera exigua, other wise called Beet Armyworm, has a relatively brief developmental time under field conditions (Ali & Gaylor 1991), permitting rapid cycling of generations. The fifth stage feeds for two to six days. The egg mass has a fuzzy or cottony gray appearance. Identifying characteristics include a smooth body with no hairs and large dark spots on both sides of the body just behind the head. Wang MaoMing, 2006. 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