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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.



(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.


References in periodicals archive ?
Families of moths known to be eaten by Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus before this study include Arctiidae, Geometridae, Noctuidae, Notodontidae and Sphingidae (Dalton et al.
Sin embargo, el uso del gen nuclear ribosomal rRNA y los genes mitocondriales ND1 y tRNA para el analisis filogenetico de la superfamilia Noctuidae realizado por Weller et al.
Aportes al conocimiento de los parasitoides de larvas de Noctuidae (Lepidoptera) en el cultivo de soja en Tucuman, Argentina.
Sugarcane moth borers (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae and Pyraloidea): phylogenetics constructed using COII and 16S mitochondrial partial gene sequences.
En cuanto a su biologia, los registros existentes indican que las especies de Archytas actuan como parasitoides de larvas de Lepidoptera, y son las Noctuidae sus hospederos mas frecuentes (Blanchard & De Santis, 1975; Guimaraes, 1977).
Etimologia: dedicada al especialista en Noctuidae de Argentina, Pablo Koehler.
Este manual es de particular valor porque Noctuidae es la familia mas numerosa de lepidopteros y en algunas regiones constituye una plaga forestal y agricola importante.