Lepidoptera The Cabbage Moth – Mamestra Brassica
Whatever be your methods of moth collecting, you are sure to meet with Brassica in abundance. They swarm round the insect hunter’s sugar in such numbers as to become a positive nuisance. They are also attracted by light. During the day they may be seen at rest on palings. The caterpillar is even better known, and with reason, for it is fearfully destructive to our vegetables and even our flower beds. It burrows into the hearts of cabbages, filling the galleries it makes with its excrement, often leaving no very visible outward signs of its presence within. But its ravages are by no means confined to cabbages. It eats with more or less relish almost every vegetable and flowering plant of our gardens, and is equally partial to the various herbs of the field.
The fore wings of the moth are dingy brownish grey, marbled in a very confused manner by darker markings. The reniform spot is very distinct, the orbicular less so. A light zigzag line runs parallel with the hind margin. It flies in June and July.
The larva feeds later in the season, and changes to the chrysalis beneath the soil in the autumn. It is of a dark grey colour, with a darker line on the back, and a lighter one along the spiracles, which are white.