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Corn Earworm
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Corn Earworm

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Noctuidae

Pest Status: Corn earworm caterpillars are responsible for most of the damage done to tip of the ear in sweet corn, but they can damage many other plants as well and are called tomato fruitworm or cotton bollworm depending upon where they are feeding.

Appearance: Adults are medium-sized, light-yellowish moths and have distinctively different color patterns in the underwings.

Life Cycle: Eggs are deposited on leaves and hatch within three to four days. Larvae find a suitable feeding site where they stay until larval development is complete. Mature larvae drop to the ground to pupate and adults emerge in late summer or early fall.

Where to Collect: Adults are nocturnal, so they are easiest to collect at night using a light trap.