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Related to Noctuidae: owlet moth, noctuid moth, family Noctuidae


(invertebrate zoology)
A large family of dull-colored, medium-sized moths in the superfamily Noctuoidea; larva are mostly exposed foliage feeders, representing an important group of agricultural pests.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(owlet moths), a family of Lepidoptera. The wingspread ranges from 1 to 30 cm (in Erebus odora—the largest moth) but most often is between 3 and 5 cm. The antennae are usually setaceous, but in some species they are pectinate. The elongate, triangular fore wings are in most cases gray or brown with characteristic markings of three spots (a round one, a kidney-shaped one, and wedge-shaped one) and several wavy diagonal stripes. The hind wings are wider and more rounded than the fore wings; they are gray or, less commonly, red or yellow with black bands. The larvae have five or, less frequently, three or four pairs of abdominal legs. They are generally naked or have slightly noticeable setae. Only larvae of the subfamily Apatelinae are pilose. Pupation occurs in soil “cradles” or, in some species, in fragile cocoons on plants. Most noctuids, including both adult and larval forms, are active at night.

There are about 20,000 species (according to other data, as many as 30,000) distributed throughout the world. More than 2,000 species occur in the USSR. Owlet moths include many agricultural and forest pests. Field and garden crops are damaged by Agrotis segetum and Agrotis exclamationis. Barathra brassicae infests cabbage and sugarbeet crops, and Heliothis armiger and Plusia gamma attack industrial, cucurbitaceous, and other crops. Grain crops are damaged by Hadena sórdida and Parastichtis basilinea, and coniferous forests are infested by Panolis flammea.

Control measures include the implementation of progressive agricultural techniques (for example, deep autumn plowing), the use of entomophagous organisms (for example, Trichogramma), and, in the case of massive infestations, dusting or spraying plantings and seeds with insecticides.


Pospelov, S. M. Sovki-vrediteli sel’skokhoziaistvennykh kul’tur, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1969.
Kozhanchikov, I. V. Sovki (podsemeistvo Agrotinae). Moscow-Leningrad, 1937. (Fauna SSSR: Nasekomye cheshuekrylye, vol. 13, issue 3.)
Merzheevskaia, O. I. Sovki (Noctuidae) Belorussii. Minsk, 1971.
Spuler, A. Die Schmetterlinge Europas, 3rd ed., vols. l-t. Stuttgart, 1908–10.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Effect of Murraya koenigii extracts on feeding and ovipositional response of Spodoptera litura (Fab.)(Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).
Edwards) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was captured at 13 of the 32 sites (Table 1).
Assessment of the high-dose concept and level of control provided by MON 87701 x MON 89788 soybean against Anticarsia gemmatalis and Pseudoplusia includens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Brazil.
Biological parameters of three Trichogramma pretiosum strains (Riley, 1879) (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) on eggs Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner, 1805) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).
Bio-residual activity of selected biopesticides in comparison with the conventional insecticide Dursban against Cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis (Boisd.)(Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).
A new broad host spectrum nuclear polyhedrosis virus isolated from a celery looper, Anagrapha falcifera (Kirby) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).
Selective effects of natural and synthetic insecticides on mortality of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and its predators Eriopis connexa (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).