True armyworm

Pseudaletia unipuncta

True armyworm larvae are brownish in color and about 1.5 to 2 inches long. Being similar in size to a Fall armyworm, it is frequently mistaken for one. This is curious because the True armyworm would not have the "y" brand atop its head. At any rate, like most all 'armyworms', they will feed on crops at night and during overcast days. On sunny days, the larvae will hide under crop debris... making daytime field-checking more difficult. Aside from their occasional forays into corn, true armyworms feed on wheat, oats, rye, barley, pasture grasses and 'sometimes' (it is said) broadleaf plants such as alfalfa, cabbage and turnips. If true, they likely migrated there from grain fields harvested earlier. It could be, perhaps, a case of mistaken identity and more likely Beet armyworms (at least more likely in the southern states). But when they're in corn, True armyworms will feed on both the leaves and ears.

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