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

Scientific Name: Noctuidae: Agrotis ipsilon

Status: pest of field and garden crops, and turfgrass

Damaging Stage: caterpillar

Biology: Black cutworms are gray to nearly black with a distinct pale stripe extending down the center of the back. Newly hatched larvae are approximately 1/4 inch long and reach 2 inches when they are fully grown.

Pupae and adults overwinter in the soil. Adults cannot survive the winter in northern United States but they return each year from the south via strong air currents and storms. Females lay their eggs in cracks in the soil. The eggs hatch within a week, then the larvae feed on host plants for about a month.