Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 3


Western Australia, Insect pests, Climbing Cutworm, Caterpillars

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The name, "climbing cutworm," is applied to several different species of cater- * pillars which cause serious economic damage in different parts of the world. The best-known form has such popular names as the "cotton boll worm," the "corn ear worm," and the "tobacco bud-worm," and is known to science as Heliothis armigera. Previous references in local literature have referred to this species, but more exact studies of the insects concerned have revealed that our local pest should be known as H. punctigera (Common, 1953). A change of name is of little interest to the farmer, but an exact knowledge of the different members of the climbing cutworm group, their distribution and food preferences may well lead to discoveries of practical importance. The name "climbing cutworm" is applied locally to distinguish the species from the common cutworm, which seldom feeds up in the foliage, but gnaws plants off at ground level and hides under soil and clods during the daytime.