oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - Identification of economically important Spodoptera larvae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) : Scientific Note



The larvae of Spodoptera spp. are of varying economic importance in the spheres of agriculture and horticulture in southern Africa. They include the African armyworm, S. exempta (Walk.), the lesser armyworm, S. exigua (Hubn.), the lawn caterpillars, S. capicola H.-S. cilium Cuen.), and S. triturata (Walk.), and the cotton leaf worm, S. littoralis Boisd. It is well known that there are phase variations in the armyworms S. exempta and S. exigua (Faure, 1943a and I 943b), and one of the main reasons for constructing a key is to enable identification of the passive phase of S. exempta. The latter is very similar in colour and markings to the non-phasing species, particularly S. capicola and S. triturata.


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