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Spodoptera exempta Walker
Agrotis exempta Walker, 1856, List Specimens lepid insects Colln Br. Mus., 32: 355.
Prodenia bipars Walker, 1857, Ibid. 11: 724.
Prodenia ingloria Walker, 1858, Ibid. 15: 1679.
Spodoptera exempta Walker; Brown & Dewhurst, 1975: 243.

Spodoptera exempta

This species has narrower forewings than the species already discussed, but is best distinguished from these more weakly marked species by the forewing orbicular which is obliquely elliptical rather than circular.

Geographical range. Old World tropics (see Haggis, 1984).

Habitat preference. Only two specimens have been taken in Borneo, one from coastal Brunei (Seria) and the other from 900m on G. Api, Sarawak. In its range the species is most successful in seasonal savannah habitats.

Biology. The migratory patterns in Africa of the adult have been discussed in detail by Haggis (1984).

The larva is a notorious armyworm pest of pasture in Africa, and also has had recorded outbreaks in Australia. Like S. mauritia and S. cilium it has chisel-like mandibles, square in external view, the dorsal margin straight (Brown & Dewhurst, 1975). The gregarious phase is largely black, but the solitary phase may lack black markings and is best distinguished by the mandibular characters, illustrated by Brown & Dewhurst.

It feeds on a wide range of Gramineae and some Cyperaceae.

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