Apamea sordens Hufnagel Rustic shoulder knot

This generally common species is a minor pest of wheat and barley; the larvae also attack various grasses. The larvae feed mainly on leaves and stems but, in summer, the young larvae will also invade the ears and bore into the developing grain. The cause of the hollowed grain often goes unrecognized.

BIOLOGY

Moths occur in May and June, and deposit their eggs on the leaves and developing ears of grasses and cereals. After egg hatch, the larvae feed mainly in the ears where they attack the developing grain. They are active only at night, and remain hidden during the daytime. In autumn the larvae enter hibernation. They reappear early in the following spring and then attack the plant stems and leaves. Fully feed larvae pupate in the soil, each in an earthen cell, and adults emerge a few weeks later.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 34-42 mm wingspan; forewings pale brown with a short black basal streak; hindwings pale brown with a darker margin. Larva up to 35 mm long; body greyish-brown to olive-brown with a paler stripe along the back, edged by irregular black bars, and an interrupted black spiracular line; head black; prothoracic plate black with whitish lines.

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