Taking an environmentally sensitive approach to pest management


Missouri Pest Monitoring Network
Black Cutworm I.D.


Black Cutworm wings spread, male and female

Identification of moth
(stage attracted to and captured in traps)

  • Relatively large with wingspans of 1.5-2.0 inches
  • Brownish color
  • Single, black, dagger-like mark on each forewing
Black Cutworm dagger identification with wings closed

Identification of larvae

Black Cutworm curled up larvae
  • Rough, grainy skin ranging from light gray to black
  • Pale indistinct, narrow stripe along the center of the back
  • Curl into a "C" shape when disturbed

Differentiate between:
black cutworm and dingy cutworm larvae

Black Cutworm illustration to show pale band along top of body, two black stripes on head, and the uneven paired spots

Pairs of dorsal spots (tubercles) are unequal in size on black cutworm larvae and equal in size on dingy cutworm larvae


Identification Video

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REVISED: September 29, 2015