Is This an Army Cutworm?

Flow chart to decide if an insect is an army cutworm. Army cutworms are western North American insects that are larvae in winter and moths in summer.

1 Army cutworms are native North American insects that eat introduced weedy plants, such as cheatgrass and wild mustard, and introduced crops, such as wheat and canola.
2 Army cutworms are most common in dry areas of the western U.S. and Canada.
3 All life stages of army cutworms are nocturnal. Larvae may be active on cloudy days or when food is scarce.
4 Why isn’t November included in the flow chart? Army cutworms have only one generation per year. They mate and lay eggs in soil in late October and November, and then die. The eggs are too small to see, so you won’t find ACW in November.
5 Army cutworm moths migrate from low to high elevations in May and from high to low in October, so they can be anywhere in their range during these months.
6 Army cutworm moths spend summers high up on mountains, eating nectar from flowers that bloom all summer. ACW moths from the Great Plains summer in the Northern Rockies, where they’re an important food for grizzly bears. ACW moths from the intermountain west summer in nearby mountain ranges, such as the Snake Range in Great Basin National park.