Cross-striped Cabbageworm
Evergestis rimosalis (Guenee), Pyralidae, LEPIDOPTERA


Adult - The yellowish-brown moth has a body about 10 mm long and a wingspan of about 25 mm. The mottled forewings are marked with dark brown zig-zag lines; the pale hind wings have 5 or 6 small dusky spots between the middle of the wing and its inner border.

Egg - The egg mass, laid on the foliage, consists of thin, oval, flattened eggs which overlap like fish scales. Each individual yellow egg is about 1.2 mm long and 1 mm wide.

Larva - Only a few millimeters long when newly hatched, the first instar larva has a large head and uniformly gray body sparsely covered with hairs. A mature larva has a bluish-gray body up to 20 mm long with tiny black transverse stripes. A black stripe with a yellow stripe underneath it runs along each side of the body. The underside of the larva is green mottled with yellow.

Pupa - The yellowish-brown to dark brown, 11- to 12-mm-long pupa can be found in a light gray cocoon with particles of sand enmeshed. The cocoon itself is about 16 mm long and 10 mm wide.


Distribution - Cross-striped cabbageworms have been reported in many states from Delaware and Nebraska southward. Moths have been taken farther north, but this insect is believed to be primarily southern in distribution.

Host Plants - Cabbage, turnip, and related plants are the only known hosts of this pest.

Damage - Because eggs are deposited in masses, individual plants may be infested with large numbers of cross-striped cabbageworms. These caterpillars feed on all tender plant parts but prefer terminal buds. Young leaves and buds are often riddled with holes.

Life History - No biological studies of this pest have been conducted in North Carolina, but in Washington, DC, the cross-striped cabbageworm is reported to produce four generations per year. They probably overwinter as larvae and pupate in spring. Pupation occurs just below the soil surface and lasts about 6 days. Moths emerge from pupae and soon deposit eggs in masses of 20 to 30 on the underside of leaves. Under warm, favorable conditions, eggs hatch in about 6 days. Larvae develop in about 2 to 3 weeks in summer, but require longer to develop during cooler periods of weather.


For recommended insecticides and rates, consult the current North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual.

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