Turnip Moth – Agrotis segetum


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Wingspan of 27-40 mm. Forewings dark brown with a kidney shaped spot and a clearer circular spot present in the middle with black edges. Hind wings are white in the male and pale grey in the female.


Glossy and smooth growing to 35-45 mm. Reddish head, greyish body with 2 parallel longitudinal lines in the middle region. Two small black spots are on the front and back of each segment, each bearing a bristle.


Hemispherical and ribbed milky white eggs are laid in irregular clusters on the leaves of hosts and on the soil surface.


Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Economic Host(s)

A vast range of horticultural and agricultural crops.


Early instars feed on leaves while later instars begin to feed below ground on roots of their host. Feeding on the leaves often produces windowpanes (just the lower epidermis remaining). External feeding results in fallen leaves and root feeding leaves obvious holes. Subterranean feeding by late instars causes toppling of plants.


Generations: 1-5 (climate dependent)


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