Mythimna separata

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Mythimna separata
Mythimna separata.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Mythimna
Species: M. separata
Binomial name
Mythimna separata
Walker, 1865
  • Leucania separata
  • Mythimna (Pseudaletia) separate
  • Leucania consimilis

The Northern armyworm, Oriental armyworm or Rice ear-cutting caterpillar (Mythimna separata) is a moth of the Noctuidae family. It is found in China, Japan, South-east Asia, India, Eastern Australia, New Zealand, and some Pacific Islands. They term “Armyworm” is used because of their habit to spread out in a line across a lawn or pasture, and slowly “marching” forward, meanwhile consuming the foliage they encounter.

Plant volatiles released by corn plants may help the caterpillar avoid predators.

The wingspan is 35–50 mm. The moth flies from January to April depending on the location.

The larvae feed on a range of agricultural plants like Zea mays, Sorghum bicolor and Oryza sativa and are thus considered a pest.


China experiences periodic outbreaks of northern armyworm infestation.[1] The outbreak in 2012 was particularly severe.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wang GP, et al. The role of nectar plants in severe outbreaks of armyworm Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in China. Bull Entomol Res. 2006 Oct;96(5):445-55.
  2. ^ Staff, ChinaDaily. August 14, 2012. China warns of armyworm outbreak

External links[edit]