Spodoptera ornithogalli, a polyphagic pest threatening crops in Europe

Updated Apr 21, 2021
This species has been reported so far in North America (Canada, Mexico, USA), Central America and the Caribbean islands (Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and El Salvador) and South America ( Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Colombia, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela). The damage is mainly caused by caterpillars feeding on the above-ground parts of plants. Younger larvae skeletonize the leaves, and older larvae bite out irregular holes in the leaves or eat the whole leaves. Caterpillars can also feed on the fruit of plants such as tomato and cotton (bags) or on flowers. The eggs are laid in beds of 200 - 500 pieces, usually on the underside of the leaves. The caterpillars are up to about 35 mm long. The coloration of the caterpillars varies, but mature caterpillars have a broad brownish border on their backs with a white line in the center. There are distinct black triangular spots on the sides of ...
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