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.
Scientific Name: Felita jaculifera
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 30mm to 40mm (1.17in to 1.56in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.