Greasy Cutworm/ Black cut worm

Greasy Cutworm/ Black cut worm: Agrotis ipsilon

Symptoms of damage:

  • Young larvae feed on the epidermis of the leaves
  • Older larvae come out at night and feed young plants by cutting their stems
  • They also damage the tubers by eating away part of them

Identification of pest:

  • Eggs: Creamy white, dome-shaped eggs, laid singly on lower surface of the leaves
  • Larvae: Newly emerged young larva is yellow in colour. The full-grown larva is dark or dark brown with a plump and greasy body.
  • Pupa: Dark brown pupae are found in earthen cells lying underground in the potato fields
  • Adult: Dark with some grayish patches on the back and dark streaks on the forewings.


  • Flood the infested fields
  • Handpick and destroy the larvae in morning and evening hours on cracks and crevices in the field
  • Plough the soil during summer months to expose larvae and pupae to avian predators
  • Set up light trap @1/ha
  • Pheromone traps @12/ha to attract male moths
  • Spray insecticides like chlorpyriphos 20 EC @1 lit/ha or neem oil @ 3%




  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal
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