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Sod Webworm larva
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Sod Webworm - larva
See also: adult | damage

Scientific Name: Pyralidae: several species

Status: serious pest of turfgrass and other plants

Damaging Stage: caterpillar

Biology: Adults are buff-colored and have snoutlike projections extending forward from the head. They measure approximately ½ inch long. At rest, a webworm folds its wings around its body, giving it a cigar-shaped appearance. A larva is gray to tan with small dark spots on the body. Larvae are approximately 1 inch long when fully mature. They tend to be a brown or green color with darker spots on the surface of the body. The head capsule is a mottled brown color.

Sod webworm larvae overwinter several inches deep in the soil. In the spring, the larvae move upward and feed on new grass growth. In the summer, the larvae bury deeper into the soil to pupate. After two weeks, the new adult moths emerge at night to mate and lay eggs. There are usually two generations per year.