Cabbage Moth – Mamestra brassicae


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Wingspan of 40-50 mm. Forewings dark brown with dark cross lines. A white or white bordered kidney shaped spot is present in the front half of the wing. The sub-marginal line is yellow-white with 2 dents to form the letter M. Hindwings are grey, darker along the margins


Final instars reach 35-40 mm in length. Body varies in colour from greyish-green to dark brown or black. A dorsal pattern of dark spots is present, shaped like a herring bone. Lateral sides of body with a yellowish stripe in addition paler stripes.


Yellowish-white eggs are deposited in batches on the undersides of leaves


Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Egypt.

Economic Host(s)

A wide range of crops but prefers members of the Brassicaceae, including cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts


Young larvae feed on the underside of external leaves, leaving the veins. Older larvae bore into the heart of plants to feed depositing large amounts of frass. Larvae may also feed on inflorescences of
broccoli and cauliflower.


1-3 (climate dependant)


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