Black Cutworm (Agrotis Spp.)
Black Cutworm is a caterpillar pest found mainly on bentgrass. The larval stage appears as a smooth-bodied, dark-coloured caterpillar with longitudinal lines and brown to black spots on back and sides.
When mature, the adult Black Cutworm metamorphoses into a brown moth with a wing span up to 55 mm. The fore-wings are purple-brown with black markings and hind-wings are grey with brown markings.
Adult moths lay their eggs in clusters in turfgrass at night and are attracted to the light, around night-lit buildings are more prone to damage. Cutworm larvae hatch and usually feed during the night. These larvae and cut off young plants at the crown and pull them away for feeding – why Cutworm as named.
Cutworms have two generations per year and overwinter as pupae. Some species of cutworm produce enough generations that adult moths are present throughout the year.