Prodenia (Spodoptera littoralis)

Identification :

  • Prodenia is a nocturnal lepidopteran named Spodopteralittoralisbelonging to the Noctuidae family.
  • It is a very polyphagous pest attacking several crops such as alfalfa, beans, beets, cabbage, corn, cotton, lettuce, peppers, peas, tomatoes etc …
  • The adult is a butterfly with a wingspan of 3 to 4 cm and a length of 1.5 to 2 cm.
  • Its forewings are brownish-black with characteristic light-colored patterns. The posterior ones are white-gray with gray borders.
  • The caterpillars measure from 4 to 4.5 cm.
  • The size of these caterpillars is greater than that of other Lepidoptera caterpillars usually encountered.
  • They are hairless and vary in color from light brown to black-brown depending on their age.
  • The light bands and dark spots on the sides of the body help to distinguish them better from other caterpillars

Biology :

  • This species is very prolific, the female of which can lay up to 2000 eggs.
  • The female lays her eggs on different supports (plants, debris, soil).
  • The eggs are whitish in color and are laid in groups of several dozen covered with bristles (hairs).
  • Like all Lepidoptera this species has 6 larval stages.
  • Depending on the climatic conditions, the larvae develop over a period of 15 to 23 days.
  • The larvae are no longer active at a temperature < 12°C.

Symptoms :

  • The caterpillars are very voracious and feed on the foliage of sugar beets.
  • Older plants can quickly be defoliated.
  • Drilling at herbaceous stems is also observed.
  • Clusters of moist excrement are visible at the level of the attacked plants.

Control :

  • Chemical control using AVAUNT 150EC at a rate of 250 ml / ha.



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