Neumichtis nigerrima (Guenée, 1852)
(previously known as : Syntheta nigerrima)
Black Noctuid

Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

(updated 19 January 2011)

This Caterpillar is initially green with pale stripes. Later the stripes are replaced by speckles with two bright yellow spots on the last abdominal segment. Mature instars mat be brown.

It is an agricultural pest, attacking

  • Turnips ( Brassica rapa, BRASSICACEAE ),
  • Sugar Beet ( Beta vulgaris, CHENOPODIACEAE ),
  • Potato ( Solanum tuberosum, SOLANACEAE).
  • Clover ( Trifolium, FABACEAE ), and
  • Grass pasture ( POACEAE ).

dark specimen
(Photo: courtesy ofLaura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)

The forewings of the adult moth vary from dark brown to black. On the paler specimens, a pattern of light and dark brown may be discernible. The hind wings pale with wide black borders. It has a wingspan of about 4 cms.

The species occurs across Australia, including:

Further reading :

David Carter,
Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 258.

Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp. 65, 461, 465, 467.

Pat and Mike Coupar,
Flying Colours, New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 76.