Cutworm Moths

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cutworm Moths


moths of the family Noctuidae; grain-crop pests. The most dangerous are the common and gray cutworm moths.

The common cutworm moth (Hadena basilinea) has a wingspread of 40–42 mm. The wings are brown, and the front wings have wavy, yellowish brown transverse stripes and spots and a white touch at the base. The gray cutworm moth (H. sordida) has a wingspread of 38 mm. The wings are gray, with brownish gray stripes and spots, and no white touch at the base.

Cutworm moths are widespread in Europe and, to some extent, Asia (Siberia). In the USSR, the common cutworm moth damages wheat, rye, and less frequently, corn, mostly in the European part of the country; the gray cutworm moth damages spring wheat in northern Kazakhstan and Siberia. The cutworm moth produces one generation a year. The caterpillars winter in the soil and in spring pupate in the surface layer. The moths deposit eggs in ears of grain (in addition to this, common cutworm moths usually deposit eggs on the awns and upper leaves). The caterpillars first eat cavities into the grain and then consume the kernels from within. After the harvest, they feed on the fallen kernels, stalks, and cereal weeds. One caterpillar consumes about 1 g of grain in its lifetime. The number of gray cutworm moths typically varies from year to year. If measures to combat it are not taken in time, outbreaks of large-scale multiplication lasting 2–3 years and alternating with periods of depression cause tremendous crop damage. Measures for combating cutworm moths include early gathering of the harvest, without losses; setting aside heavily infested areas for row crops; and the use of insecticides on plantings.


Grigor’eva, T. G. Zernovye sovki i bor’ba s nimi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958.
Novozhilov, K. V. “Khimicheskaia bor’ba s seroi zernovoi sovkoi v obshchei sisteme zashchitnykh meropriiatii.” Tr. Vsesoiuznogo entomologicheskogo obshchestva, 1965, vol. 50.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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