Armyworms & cutworms

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Scientific name: Spodoptera litura Fabricius

Common name: Armyworm/cluster caterpillar

Scientific name: Spodoptera exigua

Common name: Common cutworm


Larva of S. exigua (E. Vasquez).


Larva of S. litura (A. Braun).

Diagnostic summary

  • What they do to plants

- young larvae feed by initially scraping the surface of the leaf.


- later instars  feed voraciously on leaves  producing large irregular holes and may leave only the veins.


- high infestation causes severe defoliation.

  • What you see on plants and/or plant parts and surroundings.

- round, pearl-white eggs, laid in mass on the ground or on the surface of the leaves, covered with yellowish brown hairs.


- larvae feeding on leaves between dusk and dawn and not visible during the day.

  • Found worldwide.


Economic importance

Geographical distribution



Biology and ecology

Host range

Detection and inspection




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