T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Mythimna separate (Northern armyworm moth)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Mythimna
Species: M. separata
Binomial name: Mythimna separate. It was Aletia unipuncta
Common names: Northern armyworm moth. Cosmopolitian armyworm moth.

The Northern armyworm (Mythimna separata) is a caterpillar of a moth of the Noctuidae family. It is found in China, Japan, Taiwan, South-east Asia, India, Eastern Australia, some Pacific Islands and New Zealand. They are found in the warmer parts of the North Island and northern South Island of New Zealand.
The moth’s wingspan is 35-50 mm and it flies from January to April depending on the location 

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. The larvae feed on a range of agricultural plants and hence it considered a pest.

Photographed March.