Dingy Cutworm Moth (Felita jaculifera)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Dingy Cutworm Moth.
Updated: 2/28/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Dingy Cutworm Moth's caterpillar is a drab-colored eating machine with an appetite for staple crops.
A collage of brown colors on the wings of the Dingy Cutworm Moth are contained in well-defined geometric shapes. A general trianglular shape on each forewing is filled with a wave of dark brown and tan. An orange-brown mark shaped like a jelly bean sits near the bottom of each wing. Sharp lines create a distinctive pattern used to identify it. A light fringe borders the bottom of the wings. A hairy thorax ('shoulder' area) sports a dark center and ivory edge.
The Dingy Cutworm Moth is an Owlet moth, a member of one of largest moth families in the world. Twenty five percent of all moths come from this family and this particular species is found all over the North American continent. Like most moths, they are nocturnal and are most active at night, but some activity in the daytime isn't uncommon. They are also attracted to lights. Adults are active from late summer to fall, not minding the cooler weather.
The larvae of this species are known to be a terrible agricultural pest. They are short, plump and a dingy brown color. Eggs are laid on soil and they molt many times before they return to the soil to pupate. These caterpillars feed on the leaves and plants of important staple crops like corn, beans, flax, soybeans, and oats. Tobacco, alfalfa and wheat are also known food sources. The larvae cut the plant down to ground level with their feasting, and the loss of revenue makes them an agricultural pest.