Noctuidae — Overview

Army-worms, Cutworms, Owlet Moths, and Stem Borers learn more about names for this taxon

IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Noctuidae (Owlet Moths, Underwing Moths)
This is a large family of small- to medium-sized hairy moths. They often have gray, brown, or yellow-tan patterns on their wings, but sometimes have patches of white, green, or pink. Sometimes the hindwings are lighter-colored than the forewings. The Underwing Moths, however, tend to be larger, and have showy hindwings with patterns of yellow/orange and black. Male moths in the Noctuid family have plume-like antennae to detect pheromones from females. Noctuid moths also have the capacity to detect sonar from bats, which helps to reduce losses from predation. The caterpillars of Noctuid moths feed on a wide variety of plants, including even dead leaves, fungi, and lichens. They are sometimes serious pests on agricultural crops and forest trees. Larval hairs are not used in the construction of cocoons, unlike moths from some other families.

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