hymenopus coronata

Conrad Bérubé
island crop management
email: uc779(at)freenet.victoria.bc.ca

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aphid life cycle
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Black Cutworm

Information on this page is derived from public domain documents published by the federal government of canada, the provincial government of British Columbia and information contributed on electronic discussion groups. Please bear in mind that any pesticides mentioned in these pages may no longer be recommended or registered for the indicated use — check with your local pesticide officer or regional agrologist for current info (you can use the provincial directory on the internet to search for those job titles or call Enquiry bc at 1 800 663-7867 for assistance). It is recommended that you use a search engine using the common name and/or scientific name of the organism(s) below, together with the name of your province, to find biology and management information relevant to your local conditions.

If you choose to use chemical controls remember to
always follow pesticide label instructions!

insects of economic importance in Canada and British Columbia

species: agrotis ipsilon
common names: black cutworm, roughskinned cutworm (athetis mindara)
hosts: strawberries



 Black Cutworm on Strawberry    Black Cutworm


Black Cutworm  Cutworm Moth

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Insect Identification Sheet No. 34 December 1979

Black Cutworm

Agrotis ipsilon(Hugnafel)

The black cutworm is found in all provinces but is most troublesome in southern Ontario and the Maritime Provinces.

Black Cutworm eggs


The black cutworm attacks a wide range of field and garden crops, including tomato, turnip, radish, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, oats, barley, potato and tobacco. Damage may be particularly severe with tobacco and other crops where plants are widely spaced. Generally, the greatest damage is done to seedling plants by the gray, greasy-looking larvae feeding on leaves and cutting stems. However, the pest often attacks larger tobacco plants, cutting into stems and weakening them. The injury causes leaves to wilt and damaged stems often break off in a wind.

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Life History:

Although it has been generally thought that this pest did not overwinter in Canada and that adult moths migrated northward from the United States in May, there is mounting evidence that the pupae can survive the winter in the soil in protected areas in the more temperate regions of the country.

Adult moths are dark brown and have a wingspread of about 2.5 cm (1 in.). The females lay their eggs on grass and weed ' leaves or on the soil surface in May or early June. Hatching occurs in 5 to 7 days and the young larvae begin feeding on grass and weeds before moving to crops. The larvae are about 2.5 cm (1 in.) long when they mature. In late July or early August they pupate in cells 5-10 cm (2-4 in.) below the soil surface. A new generation of moths emerges in late August or early September and produces another generation of larvae, which feed mostly on grasses and weeds, but somearial injure such crops as potatoes and rutabagas in an unusually warm autumn.


Consult your provincial Agriculture Department for recommendations on control procedures.


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Copyright © 2007 Conrad Bérubé, site design, concept and scripting. All rights reserved worldwide.
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