Turnip Moth Facts
- The Turnip Moth forms a Lepidoptera in the family of Noctuidae. This insect species developed as endemic to one portion of the world. However, through international trade, it has now become common in other portions as well.
- This tiny Lepidoptera also represents a particular variety of cutworm. Within most of its range of habitation, it now constitutes a threat to crops. This unfortunate fact qualifies it as an invasive species.
- Further, the larvae of this particular species remain rather famous among scientists. This holds true due to its quite voracious appetite. The moth will also feed on a wide variety of plants.
- Finally, since its larval form has come to be viewed as a destructive pest, steps have been taken. Many methods of biological control have been attempted, with varying degrees of success.
Turnip Moth Physical Description
Most notably, both the size and color patterns of the Turnip Moth vary significantly among individuals. Therefore, the species exhibits significant sexual dimorphism. Hence the occasional mistaking of different genders for different species.
Further, the females present forewings colored dark gray, brown, or black. Also, the hindwings show gray. Yet, in contrast, the forewings of males remain much lighter, while the hind wings show whitish or light gray.
In addition, body length for this invertebrate averages about 0.85 in (22 mm). Its wingspan, however, typically reaches as much as 1.7 in (45 mm).
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Noctuidae
- Genus: Agrotis
- Species: A. segutum
Turnip Moth Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Additionally, it frequently inhabits a rather wide variety of habitats within its native range. These habitats not include farmland, parks, and gardens, but also forests, and even some areas of sand dunes.
The rather voracious larva feeds on a wide variety of plants. In this, it follows the habit of most related species. However, its preferred food includes cotton, tomato, corn, legumes, sugar beets, and tobacco.
The larvae feed on the entire plant, from the leaves to the roots, thereby destroying everything. Thus, most farmers in the regions it inhabits consider it not only invasive, but harmful, as well.
Finally, once the species reaches adulthood, its lifespan typically measures 25 days.