First report of Elaphria deltoides (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on soybean
Elaphria deltoides is a moth in the family Noctuidae, commonly known as owlet moths, cutworms, and armyworms. Several moths in this family are severe pests of agricultural crops around the world. The larval stages feed on plant tissues cause significant crop losses. Other examples of widely known owlet moth pests are the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and the southern armyworm (Spodoptera eridania).
The economic impact of E. deltoides is not yet known. In 2014, E. deltoides larvae were discovered feeding on corn in Brazil, and this year they were described for the first time feeding on soybean in Brazil. The importance of these two crops suggest there is the potential for E. deltoides to be a pest of concern. This moth is already found in Florida, where both corn and soybean crops are grown.
You can find more pictures of adult moths from the Moth Photographers Group page. Maize and soybean growers should watch for E. deltoides causing damage. As always, if you suspect you have found E. deltoides in your crops, you can contact the DPI Helpline (1-888-397-1517) or send a specimen to the UF Insect Identification Lab.