xt779c6s019h https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt779c6s019h/data/mets.xml   Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. 1895 journals kaes_bulletins_058 English Lexington, Ky. : The Station, 1885- Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin n.58. text Bulletin n.58. 1895 2014 true xt779c6s019h section xt779c6s019h T .
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Agrmultural Expc-zmmcmt Stzmcm “
_ · BULLETIN NO. 58. T
T Cutwprms in Kentucky. *
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. The spring of 1895 was marked in lientucky by an
extraordinary abundance of cutworms in gardens and
fields, and numerous complaints appeared in the papers l
published throughout the State concerning their attacks
upon hemp, tobacco, corn, cabbage, tomatoes, strawber-
ries, and almost everything else valued as a crop by 1
farmers. Hemp especially suffered in jessamine county. , `,
Garden truck of all kinds was cut clown to such an ex- ,
tent that in some localities people became discouraged *
and hopeless of securing a stand. I
. As is usual when these insects become exceptionally I
 _ common there was some migration of the worms from ‘_
A  one piece of ground to another, which led correspondents
l to assume that an outbreak of the notorious army-worm '
 { was in progress, a mistake encouraged also by the fact
’f Q that some of the cutworins which appeared were marked ·
F  · with stripes. ,
V   It was more than once explained to correspondents l
l' F, of the Station at the time of the outbreak that the true
army-worm had nothing to do with the mischief then
being done It was not more common during the season
I in Kentucky, as far as I could learn, than it is usually.
Almost any season a few of these worms can be found in
_ damp meadow land among grasses, while adult army-
worni moths are always rather common during the

 ?l ?   ‘ l —
9 ` T
  . i 90 Bullwfin .N0. SS.
  summer. Only at long intervals do they assume the T
  ‘ marching habit, and so far as my observations enable
  me to judge, they have not proved destructive here dur-
l_ t ing the past five years. The injuries of last spring were
  solely the work of cutworms, of which two different
; y . kinds were especially abundant, while at least six other
5 . species had more or less to do with the injuries, some `
  i T prevailing in one locality, others in another.
·, __ ] y It was apparent as early as February that the worms ‘
  "fl · L - were more than ordinarily common. At that time they
T T , could be found on warm days gathered together under A
ji I boards and stones at the edges of plowed fields, and in I
· pastures and meadows. In March they could be col-
2 l lected in large numbers in such situations, and with the .
; j starting growth of grasses and weeds they began to feed  _
i ,, upon these, often cutting them away in the vicinity of _
;;,_ wi} their retreats to such an extent that their presence under
’ X   i boards iniglit be detected by the gnawed condition of the  j
` vegetation about them The common weed known as A
, as shepherd’s purse (Cn/txv//rr/111r.vn—pn.v/017iv), blue-grass,
Y and clover, seemed to be favorite food-plants. A
  `When crops were planted farmers everywhere set up j
L `·j,__ a shout of alarm and execration, for the lurking foes, ·
,l  T which had not hitherto been observed by them, came out T
I from their places of concealment and rapidly cut down  {
the tender growths. They invaded even tobacco beds to A
_ destroy the plants before they were transplanted. \\`oody  A
QZ · plants did not escape attack. The new growth of rasp-  ‘
, · berry and blackberry canes were sometimes cut off. l
P Onions were relished by some of the species. Potatoes, ' 
, though not commonly subject to attack by cutworms, suf- V
L fered a good deal in some localities A
A Under date April 24, 18t)5, D. S. Dickinson, of Tren-
ton, Todd Co., wrote to the Station: .
"l send by to-day‘s mail a new pest to this section.
_ This worm appeared in this locality about the roth of
April, and has been very destructive to corn and young

 · (lll!/I`())'III·Y {lll lk'?/l{l’(’ky.  
clover, also destroying yOllI1g tobacco plants. They re- l
semble the cutwor111i11 looks and otherwise, also the ar111y—
1 wor111 in so111e respects, yet we think tl1e111 neither." ·
.I11 sending a second lot of cutworms to the Station, ` r
; April 29, Mr. Dickinson wrote: I J
' _ "I think they are disappearing gradually now, for in , T
’ _ getting a second lot for you I have bee11 unable to tind   l
any 011 tobacco plant beds. The injury from these-worms
5 I so far has been n1ore serious from loss of young clover 1
v' than otherwise, as it is still time enough for a corn and ‘
Y . tobacco crop. Around this section they are worse i11
ll certain places, even 011 tl1e same farm, but I hear coni-
' plaint from nearly every l`élI'II1€1“.ll
E i With a package of cutworms S€l1t tothe Station, April T
d_ y go, Mr. Halbert Rust, of l·`airmount, _]ett`erson Co., wrote: `
H " Enclosed you will iind a {ew examples of a worm
if that is now here i11 1111li111ited numbers. They are es-
le I pecially destructive to clover tields, and revel on green il
is _ peas, onions, and garden vegetables, 1lOt overlooking l ‘
5* strawberry plants, 11ewly set, as well as old."  
l) Through tl1e kindness of Mr.   E \`ounglove and ,
l Mr. A. I). Webb, of Bowling Green, I received numerous
  examples of Cl1[\VOi`]l1S from Warren county. (ln May'(>
in _  M11 Webb sent lll€ over two l1u11dred worms wl1icl1 he '
 J wrote 1ne were collected bv llllll in :1 Iew minutes.
to 1 The President ol` the State Horticultural Societv '
lv . . · ‘
` “ _; M11 Nl l·`. _]ohnson, wrote from l·`ern Creek, _lt‘ll`¤fI`S()Il Co., _
  4. May oz i
  i "l send,you by to-day`s mail some cutworms which g l,
M- ,· HW devastating this region, I caught these specimens V
" (ll‘OllIl(l111}' onions, They are cutting down my Yollllg
in- %»lOt€ll.O€S, destroying many not the spring-set stra~.vl>¤·r1‘y
)‘<(l$, lllltl are now working in my Older st1‘z1\\‘l>t‘!‘I`}` Pldllf
m, l l’¤ A _` i noticeably different from those of other cutworms; their
M Z arrangement and general character is the same also as iu ·
if the true army-worm. Figures l) and E of the plate give
_ , a good general idea of the worm.
` if Most of our cutworms are active during the spring
4 * when plants are coming up, and then go into the ground
l_   for their second change, and from july to September
?‘· _   _ emerge as adult moths which lay eggs in the fall for the
l._ ` next season’s brood. The traveling cutworm shows a
peculiarity in its development that is worth mention-
, ing here. My examples went into the ground like the ·
  other kinds, but remained worms, without eating, for
  a considerable period. ()n june 19, when l supposed
fill" those kept in breeding jars had changed to pupzc, I S
l A found them lying unchanged in the soil kept in the jars. _
Professor Forbes, of Illinois, observed the same pecu-
liarity, and states that his confined examples continued as
r. _ worms until August 6. l suspect that some individuals _
  _ ieed now and then during this time, for l heard during ‘
  july complaints of injury to strawberry plants, and re- I
ceived a mutilated cutworm, which seemed to _be this —
i species, taken among injured strawberry plants August "
’ 4 ln the breeding jars at the Station, however, they did
not come out to get the food provided for them. lt would
seem that they underwent a sort of zcstivation similar to i
r the torpid hibernating condition of many animals, and
" only changed to pupzc towards fall. just when this latter
change occurs I am unable to say, for after taking the ‘

Cul/r0lm.s fn, JKTJIHI/L‘A'_l/. Q5 ,
worms from the earth several times I decided not to dis-
turb my breeding cage examples again, lest by doing so I I
might prevent them from becoming 1noths——a matter of .
some importance, since the species could not be de- i j V
termined positively without the adult. . r
The hrst moth to mature came out of the ground at l j
the Station on September 1;, and the last one to emerge ·
. on October 1. The period during which it is abroad
here thus appears to coincide very closely with that ob-  
served by Professor Forbes in Illinois, who records in his
‘ fifth report September I5 to October 13, as its time of
appearance. 1
Moths reared by me at the Experiment Station ·
measure about 1.34 inch in spread of wings. The ge11— .
eral color is sooty blackish. The markings of the front
wings are small and very obscure. The hind wings are
sooty outwardly, and become paler toward the base. ·,
lloth front and hind wings have a small central black _ `,
mark beneath. The appendages and body are gray. ,
t 2. The Dingy Cutworm g
{ f_}*`z·//zkz jlrwz/1/Ewz). K
U \\'itl1 the traveling cutworm most of our correspond- E
; · ents sent in another worm which appears to have done a
j Q good deal of injury in some localities. It does not seem r
Q ~ so much inclined to travel about during the day as does
)  I the other, and while occurring everywhere in the State ‘
T  - was not so generally injurious last spring- ln structure *
S and size the two are much alike. Some slight differ- » l
,  » Guces of color will enable one to distinguish the dingy
K, cutworm. It has the same broad clay—colored or yellow-
d ish brown area along the back, but on each division of
O ‘ the body from each margin of the area above mentioned
A an oblique blackish line extends forward into the area;
,1. Each of these lines, sometimes very faint, passes through
hc - two small bristle-bearing dots. At each side of the area
v `

 i F. » .
  ‘j‘ - 1 .
    `~ 96 Bu.ZZcfz`n No, 58. _
  _ is a broken longitudinal black stripe, represented in the
  traveling cutworm by a nearly continuous brown shade.
,‘ By the side of each breathing pore is a black dot, which
Y is a little more conspicuous than corresponding dots on
T; the related species. The pale longitudinal lines, quite .
Y ii ‘ characteristic of the traveling worm, are here _only im-
  · , perfectly represented. The markings of the two worms
;. are otherwise similar, the head having the dark curved
, ZM;. Q - bars, tl1e black eye-spot and tl1e network of brown lines
, ` % ` on the cheeks. This worm is a common garden pest
  every year, and does a large share in cutting oft newly
  i set plants. It constituted more than half of the cut-
_ worms sent to the Station by Mr. Dickinson from Todd
'· °‘ county. The moth is quite different trom tl1e adult of
; Q the traveling cutworm. It is shown at A in the plate. T
l Q, enlarged one-sixth. It begins to come out of the ground
iii-   g in August, 1ny records showing it abroad at Lexington
i `}‘_ · from August 27 until September 23. During this time it “
is frequently seen about our lamps at night, and large ’
._ numbers can be secured by brushing trees with sweetened ·
  mixtures, such as molasses and stale beer, or vinegar.
  It is also common about rotting apples and the refuse _
{   from cider mills. _
J 3. The Dingy Cutworm  j
(F0//Az .rzzbg0//zzkn). ~ g
li. 'We have another cutworm moth in the State so i
_ . much like the above that the two are very likely to be 1
  confounded. This moth is represented at B in the plate. A 7
comparison of A and B will give a fair idea of the differ- i'
Q ences. A noticeable difference among others is the more
D extensively pale hind wings in B, in which also the dark
marginal area begins more abruptly. The cutworms
from this moth appear with the others in spring. The
adult moth may be seen abroad from july ro until Sep
J tember 25.

 C`u.£u·orms in ](c1ziucl‘y. 97
4. The Greasy Cutworm i
( Agra/zk jpszhzz).
This worm measures 1.50 to 1.60 inch in length  
when outstretched. Its general color is dull gray or V ~
brown, sometimes approaching black. Markings not de-
cided, but commonly a couple of obscure, pale lines are ,
apparent on the sides just above the breathing pores. · i
Head brown, darker above. The adult moth is repre-
sented at G in the plate, enlarged about one—sixth. The l
worms appear in May and continue until the latter part
of june (June 2L is my latest date), when the last of
them go into the ground. The adults have been ob-
_ served at Lexington from june 25 until September 25. __
_ Freshly emerged adults have been noted as common on
june 29; on july I2 I have recorded them as very COIII-
mon; from this on they become less abundant, but are
frequent among the moths which enter dwellings as late _‘
as September 1. -»
I This cutworm is especially destructive in Kentucky P `
` to newly set tobacco plants and to corn. It has been  
observed cutting off young tomato plants in other States. ,
‘ 5. The Variegated Cutworm
_.  (Pw*2"zz’m11zrz .mm`1}r). i·
‘ Length of fully grown worm about 1.50 inch. Gen-
Q eral color dull sooty brown, mottled with gray; a series '
_ of yellow spots along the middle of the back; a black A
 " blotch on the next to the last segment of the body; a
series of crescent—shaped black marks along the sides at ir
  the breathing pores, and beneath the pores a yellow Q
stripe. The moth is of about the same size as that of
the greasy cutworm. It is shown at I’ in the plate,
enlarged one-sixth. It is a very variable species, and in
addition to the form represented in the plate another one
with a yellowish brown shade along the front niargin nf
the fore wings, is common.

 f i,  ·¢ _ “
  98 1}/1/I/di}; jb, 58.
  if The worms are active during April and May, then
  . go into the ground during the early part of june, and
  1 begin to come out as 111otl1s about the middle of the lat-
  ter month. Freshly emerged examples are common
Y. during the latter part of june, and examples continue to
  be frequent froiu this month until fall. My latest re-
  i‘ V corded capture at Lexington was taken October 25. The
  ` - species passes the winter as an adult, in part at least.
E; The worms are very indiscriminate feeders, attack-
, Q4-- ] ‘ · ing among other things corn, clover, timothy, strawber-
»   ‘ i ries, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. I
gz ] 6. The Green Cutworm -
` (/’r·1·z}/mzzm fzzrzrviv). '
i` i This is a green worm about 1.25 inch long, with a if
1 · · white stripe along each side of the body. lt was ob-
i ig served to be common last spring at Bowling Green by
tn di , Miss Sadie F. Price. I have not encountered the worm i
\ ' at Lexington, but the adult moth is common, occurring
from june o to September o. Prof. (K}. H. French, of ·
~_ Illinois, secured the worms in August and September,
  ‘ and a moth from one of them emerged on October 8. .
  The species thus appears to be double brooded The ‘
g   I ` moth itself is of an ash-gray color, with velvety collar i
  and a dark purple area along the outer ends of the front
7 The Spotted Cutworm  i
5; . l-Vm·/mz bfmrzzm). 1
, ‘ Length of fully grown worm 1.25 inch. Dark gray.  ·
’ y with two series of black spots on the back, wanting on T
, the three first divisions, gradually larger toward the hind  
, end of the body. The usual network of lines on the A,
sides of the head is very distinct. The winter is spent ,
in the worm state and the moths begin to come from the
ground in May. From these moths a second brood of _
_ worms appears in july. At Lexington moths may be 1

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 l l
C'://u·m·m.s in ]Xr4’}lfIl<‘k_I]. go 1 A
seen until September. The moth is shown at H in the j
plate, enlarged O11€-l:1l—Kl].  
8. The W-marked Cutwcrm ·
(N0;/xm L`/[Z/lllldfffllilé). ’ ,
Length of grown worm about 1.15 inch. Color gray, i
speckled and mottled with dnsky. Marked with four 1  
rows of black spots, the outermost row of each side along ·
the row of breathing pores The two series on the back
have been represented as giving the appearance of a l
letter VV on each segment, hence the common name; but
the resemblance is not always evident. The worms ap-
pear very early in spring and soon go into the ground
for pnpation. They are abroad during April and Hay, _
and the moths appear in june The only examples of
the species which have come to my notice are two worms
sent to the Station by Mr D. S. Dickinson, of Todd ·
county, captured April 23 with other cutworms taken _·
among corn, clover and tobacco The species is said —
by I)r. C. Y. Riley to feed on cabbage, beans, buckwheat V l
young pumpkin' plants, and other succulent vegetation.  
9. The Granulated Cutworm i
l/rk//zh rz/1/14*.111). .
This is a common species in Kentucky, the moths
being very often attracted to sweets at night. The worm {
has not thus far been encountered here, but is known to
have the cutworm characteristic of eating almostany vege— .
'tation. _ltis especially fond ot knot-weed. Professor ,
~ G. H. French has given a full account of its stages in the tl,
Canadian Entomologist (Vol. 14, p zoyi). The following
characters are taken from his description of the fully
grown cutworm : Length 1.55 inch. Color above to near
the breathing pores blackish gray, with a yellowish
drab oblique mark on each segment, each mark broadest
behind and mottled a little with the ground color. A

   .,. A X  .
  A 100 Bullcfin N0. 58.
  if linejust beneath the row of breathing pores on the side _ `
  . pale gray, slightly yellowish. Head pale greenish gray,
  _ slightly brownish on some, more or less drab brown on
  ` the cheeks, this mottled outside. Beneath pale greenish
‘? gray. I have observed the moths as early as june 2Q at
I Lexington. By the 12th of july they are frequent, and
i rf ` continue abroad until September 1. The moths reared
E ` Y by Professor French came forth in October. The species
L; is thus two brooded.
    ‘ V I 10. The Bristly Cutworm
__ i frllnmcslrzz rmzzigenz). I
A This is a small cutworm, measuring only about an
._ 1, inch in length. Its general color is yellowish gray.
_ Along each side is a distinct black stripe, tapering at each
  _ end. The comn1on name has reference to rather stiff
,3 if black and yellow bristles, which are scattered over the
I Xx   ’ body. The nioth is dark brown, with some touches of
~ white, gray, and green on the fore wings, together with a
more or less conspicuous black spot. The wings expand
*»_ only a trifle over an inch- The worms are found in gar-
  dens and pastures. Two broods appear annually, one in
; ~.__ early spring, the other towards fall. The adult moths
  . have been observed at Lexington from April at to june _
l 20, and again from August 8 until September 2,;.
11. The Glassy Cutworm
Qf_ · (-\;l’/U/5//{Y.\`Zi(I (z’rzvz.r!ir/rzir).
{ A As the name signifies this cutworm is of a translu-
i cent xvhitish color. It lacks all evident markings, except
; a bluish line along the back. Head red. I have not thus
· far found this species common in Kentucky. In States
further north it is sometimes very destructive in corn
land recently in sod. An example taken by me Novem-
ber 25, 1SS<), emerged as an adult during the following
.» April. ~

 ` `
` · ” I l
T CillfIl'!)I'I}l·V {21. IX?/lI(lI(‘A'y IOI
‘ 12. The Bronzed Cutworm .
trlfrpbc/adm zzzzhzkzzzs).
A1nong the cutworms found about cultivated lands ~ ,
one sometimes encounters a rather large striped species , ‘
measuring about rt;5 inch in length. The stripes are ?
seven in number on each side, four wide brown ones, and 1 j
alternating with these three narrower yellow stripes. The T ‘
head is yellowish gray. lt is very fond of blue grass, but
feeds also on corn and knot-weed. A single brood appears l
each year, the winter being spent as worms, and the moths
` coming out mostly in the late fall, when they sometimes
enter dwellings at night, attracted by the light. My dates
of capture are August rg, September 1-23. The moth is ;
shown at I in the plate, enlarged one-fifth. .
 » Cutworms in General.
Here are twelve distinct species of cutworms occur- ,'
ring in Kentucky. There are others that could be —
added fo the list. Some are one-brooded, others two- l Q
brooded, and altogether it would seem that there was no  
crop exempt and no time of the year when one cutworm ;
species or another was not engaged in its destructive T
_ work. But most of them are noticeably active only in .
’ the spring, and they are noticeable then chiefly because '
of their injuries to newly set plants and young growths.
The later broods, when such occur, find an abundance of I
food everywhere. Garden truck is too far advanced to be
checked perceptibly by them. lf we can prevent the in- i
juries ofthe early spring brood, therefore, we need not ij
ordinarily concern ourselves about cutworms the rest of °
the summer
The eggs of the majority of our cutworms are placed
by the moths among grasses or weeds, sometimes on
trees, in the fall. The young worms which hatch at this
time must have food, and the moths will not place their
  on land that does not provide this for them. This

 ;, »   . i
  T 102 ]s`uZlof·iu. No. 58.
  · fact explains why corn planted on sod land is generally
  _ badly injured by cutworms the first spring. Hy plowing
lg? under the grass the worms present in the field are de-
  prived of their natural food, and are forced to feed upon —
  _ the corn. The fact explains also the reason why cut-
  worms are often worst along the edges of gardens. The
;   · young worms fed the preceding fall on a neglected strip
; .   along the fence, or, it may be, came into the garden from .
  _ i an adjoining. meadow or pasture, where the moths placed
` g  ¤ . the eggs the preceding fall.
*   ‘ Remedial Treatment.
.; f Early fall plowing to destroy growths of grass or
l weeds likely to harbor cutworins during the winter is a
,_ E lesson taught by the above facts in the life—history of
V , theseinsects. liire, too, can sometimes be employed in
  , burning over land that is to be cultivated. All grasses
L_   along fences should be destroyed in the fall, winter, or
ZM   ' early spring, but preferably in the fall, when cutworm in-
" jury threatens. By so doing the young are deprived of
food and must either starve or go elsewhere In the
3 fields already in cultivation it is necessary in cutworm
‘ — years to keep down all volunteer vegetation, both before
  the crop is planted and afterward. Clean culture will do
  much to guard against injuries. The worms invade an ‘
l unkempt garden by preference. Scattered boards, bricks,
stones and other rubbish afford them lurking places.
. These should be removed.
lj — /;`/xr/as1`11_g·//xr jb/azz/x cuz?/1 przjwr 0/'Nil/.—-(_)1]€ of their
s ‘ most annoying habits is that of cutting off newly set l
F plants. For thirty years or more intelligent gardeners
_ have employed cylinders of stiff brown paper placed -
1 about newly set cabbage or tomato plants as a means of
keeping tlietworms from them. The cutworms are un-
able to climb up a smooth, vertical surface, and conse-
quently a cylinder of paper about a plant with loose earth
_ drawn up about its lower edge so that the worms cannot

 - , l
C11}·l!‘r»1‘11¢-S in 1(v€i/»fllt‘A‘y. 103 ·
creep under is an effective protection so long as it is i
not wet from rain, and can often be made to keep the
worms away until the enclosed plant is too large to be
injured. Cylinders of tin about 5 or 6 inches high can ‘ T
be used in the same way, and while costing something at T i
the beginning, can be put away when the cutworm sea— ’ i
son is is past, for use another season. Some one has sug-- ·  
_ gested that such cylinders may be made of strips of tin i T   l
with the two ends folded so that they will hook into
each other when brought together. ,
Small apple and other fruit tr