Egyptian Cotton Leaf Moth – Spodoptera littoralis


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Wingspan of 30-38 mm and a body length of 15-20 mm. Forewings grey to reddish-brown with paler lines along the veins. Bluish areas are usually present on the wing base and tip in males. Hindwings are iridescent greyishwhite with grey margins.


Final instars reach 40-45 mm in length. Body colour is variable, usually blackish-grey in earlier instars and becoming reddishbrown to whitish yellow in later instars. Dark and pale longitudinal lines are present laterally. Two dark semilunar spots are present on the side of each abdominal segment. The spots on the first and eighth segments are largest and interrupt the lateral lines on the first segment.


Spherical, ca. 0.6 mm in diameter and whitish-yellow in colour when laid, becoming darker with age. Laid in clusters covered with scales on the underside of leaves.

Economic Host(s)

A wide range of plants including cotton, cucurbits, potato, tomato, tobacco, tomato and watermelon.


Larvae create large irregular holes in leaves and often all that remains following feeding are the veins. Feeding on bolls leaves holes and causes them to drop or dry up. Larvae bore into fruits and pods of hosts to feed




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