This is the largest family in the order Lepidoptera
Many species of coniferous seedlings, especially on newly planted sites which
have been burned and are devoid of herbaceous vegetation. Black army cutworm
caterpillars prefer weed species over conifer seedlings.
The Prince George Forest Region has reported outbreaks since 1973 and the
Prince Rupert Forest Region reported severe defoliation of seedlings in 1974.
Infestations have decreased considerably since the cessation of slash burning
for site preparation. Adult females are able to locate recently burnt over
areas and broadcast their eggs over them. Other cutworms, such as Peridroma
saucia can be important pests in greenhouses. Adults are attracted by
bright lights. Caterpillars can eat several germinants in an evening. They
hide in the soil during the day. Faecal pellets around eaten seedlings indicate
References and Links:
EAG: 549, 551-553; FC: 230-232.