Apamea sordens Hufn. - Rustic Shoulder-Knot Moth.

Systematic position.

Class Insecta, order Lepidoptera, family Noctuidae, genus Apamea.


Hadena basilinea Den. et Schiff.

Biological group.

Cereal pests.

Morphology and biology.

The moth is similar to the Owlet Moth but is larger (wingspan 32-42 mm). Fore wings are grayish-brown, with a black longitudinal stroke (absent in the Owlet Moth); reniform spots are yellowish-brownish. Hind wings are grayish-brown. Valves of female ovipositor are weaker and chitinized to a smaller extent, compared to the Owlet Moth. Eggs are light yellow, and flat. Average fertility is 160-950 eggs, maximum to 2000-2500. Eggs are laid one by one at the base of ears on the outer side of spikelet scales, on the peduncle of ears and on the lower side of leaves of cereals. Eggs develop in 10 to 14 days. The caterpillars have no chitinoid warts, and hairs are located directly on cuticle; only 11 hooks are present on oval plantae of legs. Caterpillars eat ripening, mature, and dry grain in field, on threshing-floors, and in storehouses. Therefore they are also consider storage pests. Mature caterpillars over winter in fields at a depth to 10 cm, in haystacks, or in stubble. They have high cold resistance, enduring temperatures of -15°C for 8-10 h. Pupa having 2 thorns bent outside and 4 setae on cremaster. The pupal phase lasts 20 to 30 days.


Inhabits Western Europe, Northern Mongolia, Korea, Western China, Japan, Northern America, Central Asia, Baltic countries, Byelorussia, Moldova and Transcaucasia. Occurs in the steppe and forest-steppe zones of Kazakhstan; in Ukraine it is more abundant in the forest-steppe zone. In Russia it is distributed in the Caucasus, Altai, the Far East, steppe and forest-steppe zones of Siberia (to the Far East), and on Sakhalin. In the forest-steppe of the European part of the USSR (except the north), it is found in significant numbers and causes harm.


Monovoltine insect. Moth flight is observed from the second half of May to the end of July, depending on weather conditions. The period of egg laying coincides frequently with the period of anthesis and milk development stage of wheat. Grain humidity less than 16% is necessary for caterpillars to feed. Mass reproduction of the pest is promoted through synchronism of egg laying with ear formation in spring wheat. Favorable conditions for the reproduction of the Rustic Shoulder-Knot Moth are an annual precipitation of greater than 350 mm and temperatures in July less then 18°C. Entomophages (predators and parasites) limit the reproduction of the pest.

Economic significance.

Wheat, rye, barley, and oat are the crops most damaged by the caterpillars. Leaves and ears of corn are also damaged. It is a pest of perennial grasses including Elymus junceus and Eremopyrum sp. Beyond the Urals only seed crops of cultivated bromegrass are damaged. Control measures include timely harvesting without losses, shelling and early autumn soil treatment; interrow treatment of tilled crops and treatment of fallows in middle of May; selection of optimum times of sowing and use of resistant varieties of grain crops; treatment of plants by insecticides against 3rd-4th-instar caterpillars; immediate clearing of grain in granaries (against caterpillars).

Reference citations:

Belyaev I.M. 1974. Pests of grain crops. Moscow: Kolos. 284 pp. (In Russian)
Grigor'eva T.G. 1958. Grain noctuids and their control. Moscow & Leningrad: Sel'khozgiz. 56 pp. (In Russian)
Grivanov K.V. 1958. Rustic Shoulder-Knot Moth in the Volga region and its control. Agriculture of Volga Basin Region. Saratov. 58-60 pp. (In Russian)
Klyuchko Z.F. 1974. Noctuidae. In: Vasilev A.I., editor. Pests of Agricultural Crops and Forest Plantations. Kiev: Urozhai. V.2: 361-408. (In Russian)
Menovshchikova E.I., Lakhmanov V.P. 1981. Rustic Shoulder-Knot Moth and its control. In: To the Protection of Agricultural crops against pests and diseases in North Kazakhstan. Bulletin of Kazakhstan Research Institute (grain crops). Astana (Tselinograd): VNIIZKh. Issue 27: 40. (In Russian)
Pavlov I.F. 1983. Protection of field crops against pests. Moscow: Rossel'khozizdat. 224 pp. (In Russian)
Pospelov S.M. 1975. Noctuidae-Pests of agricultural crops in NW Russia. Abstract. Dissertation of Biological Science. Leningrad-Pushkin. 43 pp. (In Russian)
Pospelov S.M. 1989. Noctuidae-Pests of agricultural crops. Moscow: Agropromizdat. 112 pp. (In Russian)
Shek G.Zh. 1976. Grain noctuids. Zashchita rastenii 3: 48-49 (In Russian)
Shek G.Zh. 1982. Grain noctuids in Kazakhstan. In: Protection of Grain Crops against pests, diseases and weeds in North Kazakhstan (proceedings). Alma-Ata: KazNIIZR. 3-10 pp. (In Russian)
Sukhareva I.L. 1999. Noctuidae. In: Kuznetzov V.I., editor. Insects and mites-Pests of Agriculture Plants. Lepidoptera. St. Petersburg: Nauka. V.3(2): 332-378. (In Russian)

© Grichanov I.Ya. & Ovsyannikova E.I.


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