Not all brown moths are armyworm adults — get to know thy enemy

• By Luis Espino •

Over the winter, I gave a few presentations that touched on armyworms. In the presentations, I usually had pictures of adult armyworms.

Several comments I got after the presentations made me realize that armyworm adult moths sometimes are confused with other moths or butterflies that are seen in abundance at certain times of the year.

Most likely, one will not see the armyworm moths flying around unless you are driving around the field at night when they will be attracted to the car lights. They do not fly during the day.

Below are pictures of the true armyworm and western yellowstriped armyworm, the two species found in rice. I’m not a great photographer, but the pics let you see that both are somewhat large, thick moths.

The true armyworm moth is straw colored, the western yellowstriped armyworm has a gray and brown pattern on the wings. Click on the pictures to see a high resolution image.

The past four years, the true armyworm has been the species that has caused problems in rice.

Western yellowstriped armyworms have not been very common. This might change this year.

I have been finding high number of wester yellowstriped armyworm moths in the traps very early. We will keep monitoring and see what the season brings. For now, enjoy the pictures.

Dr. Luis Espino is University of California Cooperative Extension rice farming systems adviser in Butte County. He may be reached at laespino@ucanr.edu.

true armyworm adult

True armyworm adult and pupa

true armyworm adult

True armyworm adult

true armyworm adult

True armyworm adult

Yellowstriped armyworm

Yellowstriped armyworm adults

Yellowstriped armyworm adult

Yellowstriped armyworm adult

 

Yellowstriped armyworm adult

Yellowstriped armyworm adult