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Army Cutworm

Cutworms chew away at the roots of plants, making them an agricultural and backyard pest.


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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Euxoa
Species: auxiliaris

Caterpillar Details

The Army Cutworm becomes the Army Cutworm Moth or Miller Moth.

brown, tan, brown head, back stripe, black side dots, pest
There are many types of cutworms, and they are collectively considered plant pests. Like the Army Cutworm, many are olive, brown, or drab gray, making it easier to hide on and in the soil. Small black dots are spaced apart on the body and the Army Cutworm has a pale band that runs down the 'spine'. It is a plump caterpillar that curls up, tucking its head under itself, when exposed or threatened.

The cutworm literally cuts away at the roots of a plant while feeding on it, which can kill the plant. This particular species chews at grass roots. Lawns and turf can die back due to its nibbling, so it is considered a nuisance if not a pest.

The adult moth is called the Army Cutworm Moth and has two pairs of reniform spots on its brown and tan wings. Look for females in autumn on grass as they start to lay eggs that will overwinter.

Army Cutworm Video

Army Cutworm, slowly digging into wet soil.
Videos from our parent site www.InsectIdentification.org.

Army Cutworm Diet


Territorial Areas

Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico.
Prince Edward Is.  
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The map above showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the Army Cutworm may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.*NOTE: States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Army Cutworm. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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