Agrotis Ipsilon


Agrotis ipsilon, the dull sword-grass, dark cutworm, oily cutworm, or floodplain cutworm is a little noctuid moth discovered worldwide. The moth gets its logical name from dark markings on its forewings.

It is molded like a letter “Y” and takes after the Greek letter upsilon. The hatchlings are known as “cutworms” since they cut plants and different yields. The hatchlings are agrarian pests.

They feed on almost all assortments of vegetables and numerous vital grains. This species is an occasional vagrant that movements north in the spring and south in the tumble to escape outrageous temperatures in the mid-year and winter.


The relocation designs reflect how generation happens in the spring and stops in the fall.


NameDark sword-grass
Scientific NameAgrotis Ipsilon
SynonymsPhalaena ipsilon Hufnagel, 1766
Noctua suffusa Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775
Noctua ypsilon Rottemburg, 1777
Phalaena idonea Cramer, 1780
Bombyx spinula Esper, 1786
Phalaena spinifera Villers, 1789
Phalaena spinula Donovan, 1801
Agrotis telifera Harris, 1841
Agrotis bipars Walker, 1857
Agrotis frivola Wallengren, 1860
Agrotis aneituna Walker, 1865
Agrotis pepoli Bertolini, 1874
Agrotis aureolum Schaus, 1898

Vernacular Names

English: Dark Sword-grass

Dutch: Ypsilon-uil

Finnish: Vaelluskatkoyökkönen

French: ver-gris noir

German: Ypsiloneule

Italian: Nottua ipsilon

Portuguese: Nóctua ípsilon

Spanish: Gusano cortador grasiento

History Of Agrotis Ipsilon

In the scope of 2 months, the moth progresses through the life-cycle stages egg, hatchlings, pupa, and adult. All during this time and age, this moth faces the peril of predation and parasitism, for instance, by Hexamermis arvalis or by the parasite Archytas cirphis.


In light of the sorts of debris on the ground, the dark cutworm wants to oviposit in zones with fencerow (field) debris as opposed to cornfield garbage, forest floor garbage, and uncovered soil.

Fencerow debris incorporates dry grass debris, and this might be alluring for females to oviposit right off the bat in the spring season before fast vegetation development happens.

After this development, however, the moths are attracted more to low, thick plants, for example, the twisted dock and yellow rocket. These plants have various stems and some low-lying basal clear out. On most plant species, the cutworm wants to oviposit on the leaves instead of the stem.

Distinctive Features

Agrotis Ipsilon are occasional transitory bugs that movement south in the tumble to escape unforgiving cool temperatures and travel north in the spring to escape to a great degree warm climate.

Accordingly, changes in thermoperiod, and additionally photoperiod, may impact the beginning of movement designs in this species. Before movement southward in the fall, the conceptive framework in the two females and males close down to avoid fornication before winter.

black cutworm

In the spring and late-spring, however, before relocation north, females discharge sex pheromones not long after eclosion. In one examination, female moths gathered in late April-early May were 100% mated.


Populaces of this species have been found in southern Canada, 48 conditions of the United States (and also Hawaii), Mexico, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Rim, North Africa, Europe, and Asia.

In any case, they are missing from some tropical districts and colder territories and are more broad in the northern than southern half of the globe.  This species is likewise known to relocate north in the spring and move south in the fall.


Agrotis Ipsilon has a delicate olfactory framework with numerous proteins that are communicated in the radio wires. Such proteins incorporate odorant restricting proteins (OBPs), chemosensory proteins (CSPs), odorant receptors (ORs), ionotropic receptors (IRs) and tangible neuron layer proteins (SNMPs).

These proteins are in charge of perceiving sex pheromone and general odorants, for example, those discharged by host plants.

Ecology Of Agrotis Ipsilon

Ecology of the Agrotis Ipsilon is given below:


In a given year, the quantity of age contrasts dependent on area and climate conditions. In Canada, there are 1– 2 ages, while in the United States, there are 2– 4 every year.

This species is plentiful in hotter temperatures, amid the pre-summer in May– June and late-summer in September– October, while they are more plenteous in cooler temperature, amid the mid-year in June– July. One life cycle endures between 35– 60 days.


The egg arrange keeps going 3– 6 days. Females oviposit eggs in bunches on low-lying takes off. In the event that such host plants are not accessible, the females will oviposit on dead plant material.

But, they won’t reveal eggs on soil. Females can store eggs independently, or in gatherings of up to 1200 to 1900 eggs. The almost circular eggs are at first white yet turn darker with age. The surface of the egg has 35– 40 ribs that transmit from one zenith.


The larval stage endures 20– 40 days. Over the range of 5– 9 instars, the caterpillar body develops from 3.5 mm to a most extreme of 55 mm. Larval improvement is enhanced at a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.

The instars 1– 5 are best at higher humidities.  By the fourth instar, the hatchling turns out to be light touchy and burns through the greater part of the sunlight underground.


The hatchling is viewed as vermin since they harm the plant tissue under the dirt. The hatchlings are savage. The hatchling can extend in shading from light dark or dim darker to dark.

The ventral side is generally lighter, and this species does not have a dorsal band. The whole body is secured with granules and the head has numerous dim spots.


The pupal stage endures 12– 20 days. These species pupate under the dirt around 3– 12 mm underneath the surface. The pupae seem, by all accounts, to be dim darker in shading and are 17– 12 mm long and 5– 6 mm wide.


One finish age from egg to grown-up keeps going 35– 60 days. The female preoviposition time frame keeps going 7– 10 days. Grown-ups have a wingspan of 40– 55 mm.

The forewings are dull darker, and the distal region has a light unpredictable band a dark dash stamp. The hindwings are whitish to dim and have darker hued veins.

Food Habits

The food habits of Caterpillars and Adults differ in the following way:


Hatchlings feed on weeds, for example, twang, twisted dock, lambsquarters, yellow rocket, and redroot pigweed. They will frequently eat every one of the weeds accessible before moving to assault crops.

Favored harvests incorporate most vegetable plants, horse feed, clover, cotton, rice, sorghum, strawberry, sugarbeet, tobacco, and sometimes grains and grasses.


Adults feed on bloom nectar. They are likewise pulled in to deciduous trees and bushes, for example, linden, wild plum, crabapple and lilac.


Females discharge sex pheromones to pull in guys for mating. Pheromone generation and discharge in females and pheromone responsiveness in guys are subject to the adolescent hormone (JH) and pheromone biosynthesis initiating neuropeptide (BPAN).

In the range of 2 months, the moth advances through the life-cycle stages egg, hatchlings, pupa, and grown-up. All through this day and age, this moth faces the danger of predation and parasitism, for example, by Hexamermis arvalis or by the parasite Archytas cirphis.

Life Cycle

TaxonoGrown-up moths are nighttime and lay eggs on vegetation, on the sodden ground around plants, or in breaks in the ground. Egg laying starts 5-11 days after rising.

The hatchlings incubate after 3 to 24 days, and the youthful cutworms feed on vegetation close to the ground. Following 10-14 days they stay away from sunlight and end up nighttime feeders, staying in the dirt amid the light hours.

Hatchlings create in 24-40 (in some cases 90-100) days, achieving 40-52 mm long at the keep going the sixth instar, contingent upon accessible nourishment.

At the point when completely encouraged, the cutworms rest in the dirt for about seven days before pupating around 40 mm underneath soil level.


The pupae arrange keeps going a little while yet may take up to two months relying upon temperature. Contingent upon the species and scope, one to three or four ages may happen in a year.


Known Hazards Of Agrotis Ipsilon

This species is harmful to crops and can be treated with soil sprays.

Pest Of Yield Plants

Every hatchling can expend more than 400 square centimeters of foliage amid its improvement. They feed over the ground until about the fourth instar. After that, they do extensive harm to crops by disjoining youthful plants at ground level.

In the midwestern USA, the dark cutworm is viewed as a genuine bug of corn. Corn is exceptionally vulnerable at the one-leaf organize, however by the 4 or 5-leaf arrange, it is generally unaffected.

Harm to the underground parts of plants can likewise be harmful. Other products where genuine harm happens incorporate cotton, maize, tobacco, sunflower, tomatoes, sugar beet and potato.


There are three choices to oversee cutworm populace and the brought about harms. Soil bug sprays can be connected as a pre-plant treatment, despite the fact that this might be restricted by the flightiness of cutworm populace thickness appropriation.

These bug sprays can likewise be connected as a planting-time treatment, in spite of the fact that similar impediments still hold. The third alternative would be a protective treatment.

This is connected after the pervasions have happened; this is additionally called the keep a watch out the framework. This may likewise be ideal due to an as of late lower event of flare-ups.

Similar Species

Following are the species that are similar to Agrotis Ipsilon:

Agrotis longidentifera

Agrotis segetum

Agrotis subalba

Fun Facts

Some fun facts of Agrotis Ipsilon are as follows:

fun facts


Apart from being fun, they are harmful as well.



Amna Shaheen

I have done Bachelors in Computer Software Engineering from Foundation University in 2017. Now, I am doing MS in Project Management and I am a blogger at TapeDaily. I am very passionate about plants and animals. I like to study about them, so I write blogs that are related to plants and animals.

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