(Barathra brassicae), a butterfly of the family Noctuidae. The wingspread measures 50 mm. The front wings are gray-brown with dark crosswise stripes and a kidney-shaped spot in the center; the hind wings are lighter. The caterpillar is 50 mm long and greenish gray, green, or brown. The eggs are gray and hemispherical.
The cabbage cutworm is found in Europe, with the exception of the extreme north, and Asia (the Caucasus, Siberia, Middle Asia). It damages crucifers, especially cabbage, as well as tobacco, sunflowers, beets, peas, onions, lettuce, and many other plants. There are one to three generations a year. The chrysalides hibernate through the winter in the ground, and the butterflies fly out in May and June. The eggs are laid on the underside of leaves in groups of ten to 15. In eating, caterpillars leave irregularly-shaped holes in the leaves and inner passages in the cabbage heads, soiling them with their excrement. Measures taken to control the cabbage cutworm include deep autumn plowing; releasing a cabbage cutworm parasite, the trichogramma (as many as 50, 000 per hectare), during the pest’s egg-laying period; sowing plants of the family Umbelliferae (carrots, parsnips, fennel), which attract the cabbage cutworm parasite Ernestia conso-brina Meig; and treating plants with insecticides.