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Agrotis ipsilon Hufnagel
Phalaena ipsilon
Hufnagel, 1766, Berlin Magaz. 3: 275.
Noctua suffusa Denis & Schiffermuller, 1776, Wien.Verz.p.80.
Noctua ypsilon Rottemburg, 1776, Naturf. 9:141.
Phalaena idonea Cramer, 1780, Uitl. Kapellen 3: 275.
Bombyx spinula Esper, 1786, Schmett. 3: 63.
Bombyx spiniferus Haworth, 1803, Lep. Brit., p. 114.
Agrotis telifera Harris, 1841, Report Ins. Massachusetts p. 323.
Agrotis bipars Walker, 1857, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus. 10: 334.
Agrotis frivola Wallengren, 1860, Wien ent. Monatschr. 4: 169.
Agrotis aneituma Walker, 1865, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus. 32: 701.
Agrotis ipsilon Hufnagel; Holloway, 1976: 6.

Agrotis ipsilon


The general forewing facies with darker costal zone and other markings on a fawn ground, but particularly the narrow black triangle distal to the reniform and extending into the double postmedial, distinguishes this species.

Taxonomic notes. The typical form extends to Sulawesi; ssp. aneituma Walker, with much darker wings, flies from the Moluccas eastwards and in  Australia.

Geographical range.
Almost cosmopolitan excepting high latitudes, arid areas and lowland rainforests. (CIE, 1969; Carter, 1984).

Habitat preference.
In the Indo-Australian tropics the species is montane, descending to lower altitudes where cultivation occurs. On. G. Kinabalu the species was taken from 1000m to 2600m.

Carter (1984) has described the early stages. The larva is dark purplish brown and grey, the integument bearing minute sclerotised platelets. It is a typical cutworm in shape with small primary setae only. The grey colour occurs in a broad dorsal band and over the ventral half. It feeds on a wide range of herbaceous plants including crops in the families Cruciferae, Chenopodiaceae, Compositae, Gramineae and Solanaceae, severing plants at ground level in typical cutworm fashion and attacking roots and tubers.

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