Spodoptera exempta

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Spodoptera exempta
Author(s): Photography Group, BIO/CSIRO
Source: BOLD System

Spodoptera exempta (Walker) (African armyworm)

S. exempta causes serious outbreaks in eastern Africa, during which it may migrate up to the Near East. It is very destructive on grain crops and grasslands and is also a pest in glasshouses (e.g. in Europe). Apart from Africa, the species is also found in parts of Asia, Australia and the Pacific.

Populations fluctuate and are mainly influenced by rainfall events. Larval densities can reach up to 1000 larvae/m2. In areas with frequent outbreaks, regular monitoring is important to enable control before the populations become unmanageable.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Afrikanischer Heerwurm
• English: African armyworm
nutgrass armyworm
• Español: gusano soldado africano
• Français: chenille légionnaire

The development from egg to adult lasts around one moth and there are several generations per year. The adults have a wingspan of 20-35 mm. The forewings are dark greyish brown with some lighter rings and streaks. The hindwings are whitish with brown veins and a brown margin. The caterpillars are up to 40 mm long, the young ones are green, the older ones dark with yellow stripes.

Laphygma exempta

For more details see the respective page in Wikipedia.