AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH C'ETER
Hastings Research Report PR-1974-1 February 1, 197,
IDENTIFICATION OF WOR ON CABBAGE AND POTATOES IR TITF HASTINGS AREA
R. B. workman, Assoc. Entomologist
A number of different worms attack cabbage and potatoes in the Hastings area.
As an aid to growers, fieldnen, and other interested -ersons in identifying the
more common of these insects, this report lists some of the major differences which
separate one species from another. A small hand magnifier will heln in seeing the
identifying characteristics of starred (*) insects. The length and characters
given are for mature worms. Younger stages may differ somewhat. Colors of several
species vary from light to dark but patterns of lines or spots tend to remain the
same. Some of the species may look alike, at first, until a little experience is
gained. Questionable specimens can be brought to the Agricultural Research Center
where they can be sent to insect taxonomists at the University of Florida or the
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at Gainesville for a cor-
1. Beet arm~rorm',-l 1/4", varies from light-green to black with indistinct lines
along the back and sides. An irregular-shaped black spot is found on the side
just above the 3rd set of legs from the head. Feeds on cabbage and potato leaves.
2. Black cutworm*-1 1/2", shiny gray-preen to black. Dark head with a broad
lighter line on the back to a dark tail. Dark spots about hairs with 2 larger ones
(0) on the side of each segment. Usually in the soil. Cut off cabbage transplants
or feed in cabbage heads and in potato tubers.
3. Cabbage looper-1 1/4", light to medium-green looping worm with only 2 pairs of
legs on the rear segments (8 and 9th). Feeds on undersides of cabbage leaves and
heads and on the leaves of potatoes.
4. Cabbage webworm-5/3", yellowish with 5 brown to purplish stripes along the
back. Feeds on budding cabbage and fastens silk threads around the feeding area
which trap dirt and debris.
5. Corn earworm*-l 1/2", yellow-green to black with dark stripes along the back
formed by very fine spines. Dark blotches behind the head and dark spots about
hairs on the body. Found in the fall, often feedif <'-ns'"e"- i J Y cabbage.
A common worm on corn and sorghum.
APR 1 1974
.F...S. Univ. of Ficrida
6. Diamondback moth-1/3", cream to light-green. Feeds on cabbage buds or leaves
making small "shot" holes. Tiggles actively and hangs by a silk thread when dis-
turbed. Pupates in a thin gauzy sack on the underside of the leaf.
7. Fall armyworm*-l 1/4", tan to black with 3 narrow light stripes down the back.
Yellow and dark stripes splotched with red on the sides. Head light to dark with
white blotches. Attacks fall cabbage. Common on corn and sorghum.
8. Granulate cutworm*-l 1/2", dull, light-brown otherwise similar in description
and habit to the black cutworm.
9. Imported cabbage worm-1 1/4", leaf-green with 5-6 folds per segment. Many
small hairs give a velvety appearance. Adult a white butterfly with 1-2 dark spots
and dark tips on the forewings. On cabbage in the spring.
10. Southern armyworm*-l 1/4", gray-green with 2 rows of elongate triangles on
back. White stripe on side tinged with pink. Bicolored spot intersects white
stripe on segment just behind the 3rd pair of front legs. Usually attacks fall
11. Southern beet webworm-l", shiny, dark-green with dark-brown head. Dark spots
about hairs. Folds and webs leaves together with silk threads. Feeds on cabbage.
Common on pigweed.
12. Soybean looper*-1 1/4", similar to the cabbage looper except has dark spots
on head and about hairs. First 3 pairs of legs are usually dark. Found on cabbage,
potatoes, and okra.
13. Potato tuberworm-1/2", greenish to pinkish-white, shiny, with dark head, Wig-
gles actively when disturbed. Burrows in leaves or tubers, making a lined tunnel
in the tuber. Attacks potato and eggplant. Common during dry seasons.
14. Southern potato wireworm-5/8", straw-colored, cylindrical, with head and tail
dark and flattened. Mouthparts extend forward. Found in the soil and in potato
tubers. Tunnels in the tubers are unlined.