Lesser armyworm

Spodoptera exigua

The moth is about 10 mm in length with grey, mottled forewings. The hindwing is a pearly-white colour. Eggs are laid in rafts of 10 to 30, covered by webbing-like scales, by the female moth, similar to the cluster caterpillar. The young larvae remain near the egg raft and skeletonise. The mature larvae are often mistaken for helicoverpa spp. but are green to brown, with a white stripe along each side of the back. They are half the length of a mature helicoverpa larva.