Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Mamestra brassicae
(cabbage moth)



Mamestra brassicae (cabbage moth)


  • Last modified
  • 25 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Mamestra brassicae
  • Preferred Common Name
  • cabbage moth
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Mamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); larva on a Brassica (cabbage) leaf. Note frass. West Midlands, England, UK. July 2014.
CaptionMamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); larva on a Brassica (cabbage) leaf. Note frass. West Midlands, England, UK. July 2014.
Copyright©Patrick Clement/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Mamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); larva on a Brassica (cabbage) leaf. Note frass. West Midlands, England, UK. July 2014.
LarvaMamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); larva on a Brassica (cabbage) leaf. Note frass. West Midlands, England, UK. July 2014.©Patrick Clement/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Mamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); adult. May 2017. Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK. May 2017.
CaptionMamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); adult. May 2017. Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK. May 2017.
Copyright©Ben Sale/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Mamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); adult. May 2017. Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK. May 2017.
AdultMamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); adult. May 2017. Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK. May 2017.©Ben Sale/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Mamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); adult. A prominent spur on foretibia is characteristic of this genus. USA.
TitleDiagnostic character
CaptionMamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); adult. A prominent spur on foretibia is characteristic of this genus. USA.
Copyright©Hanna Royals/Screening Aids/USDA APHIS ITP/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Mamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); adult. A prominent spur on foretibia is characteristic of this genus. USA.
Diagnostic characterMamestra brassicae (cabbage moth); adult. A prominent spur on foretibia is characteristic of this genus. USA.©Hanna Royals/Screening Aids/USDA APHIS ITP/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Mamestra brassicae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Preferred Common Name

  • cabbage moth

Other Scientific Names

  • Barathra brassicae (Linnaeus)
  • Hypobarathra unicolor Marumo, 1917
  • Noctua albidilinea Haworth, 1809
  • Phalaena Noctua brassicae Linnaeus, 1758
  • Phalaena omicron Geoffray, 1785

International Common Names

  • English: cabbage armyworm
  • Spanish: noctua de la col; oruga de la col
  • French: noctuelle des choux; noctuelle du chou

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: kalugle
  • Finland: kaaliyoekkoenen
  • Germany: Eule, Kohl-; Herzwurm
  • Italy: Mamestra del cavolo; Nottua del cavolo
  • Japan: Yoto-musi
  • Netherlands: Kooluil
  • Norway: kalfly
  • Sweden: kalfly

EPPO code

  • BARABR (Mamestra brassicae)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Noctuidae
  •                             Genus: Mamestra
  •                                 Species: Mamestra brassicae

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


LibyaPresentEPPO (2020)


ArmeniaPresentEPPO (2020)
AzerbaijanPresentEPPO (2020)
ChinaPresent, LocalizedEPPO (2020)
-HeilongjiangPresentEPPO (2020)
-JilinPresentEPPO (2020)
-LiaoningPresentEPPO (2020)
-ShandongPresentEPPO (2020)
-TibetPresentEPPO (2020)
GeorgiaPresentEPPO (2020)
IndiaPresent, LocalizedEPPO (2020)
-Jammu and KashmirPresentEPPO (2020)
-PunjabPresentEPPO (2020)
IranPresentEPPO (2020)
JapanPresentEPPO (2020)
KazakhstanPresentEPPO (2020)
KyrgyzstanPresentEPPO (2020)
LebanonPresentEPPO (2020)
MongoliaPresentEPPO (2020)
North KoreaPresentEPPO (2020)
PakistanPresentEPPO (2020)
South KoreaPresentEPPO (2020)
SyriaPresentEPPO (2020)
TaiwanPresentEPPO (2020)
TurkeyPresentEPPO (2020)
UzbekistanPresentEPPO (2020)


AustriaPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
BelarusPresentEPPO (2020)
BelgiumPresentEPPO (2020)
BulgariaPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
CzechiaPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
CzechoslovakiaPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2014)
DenmarkPresentEPPO (2020)
FinlandPresent, LocalizedEPPO (2020)
FrancePresentEPPO (2020)
GermanyPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
HungaryPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
IrelandPresentEPPO (2020)
ItalyPresentEPPO (2020)
LatviaPresentEPPO (2020)
LithuaniaPresentEPPO (2020)
MaltaPresentEPPO (2020)
MoldovaPresentEPPO (2020)
NetherlandsPresentEPPO (2020)
NorwayPresentEPPO (2020)
PolandPresentEPPO (2020)
PortugalPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
RomaniaPresentEPPO (2020)
RussiaPresent, LocalizedEPPO (2020)
-Eastern SiberiaPresentEPPO (2020)
-Russia (Europe)PresentEPPO (2020)
-Russian Far EastPresentEPPO (2020)
-Western SiberiaPresentEPPO (2020)
SerbiaPresentEPPO (2020)
Serbia and MontenegroPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
SloveniaPresentEPPO (2020)
SpainPresentEPPO (2020)
-Canary IslandsPresentEPPO (2020)
SwedenPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
SwitzerlandPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
UkrainePresentEPPO (2020)
United KingdomPresentEPPO (2020)

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / external feeding
Fruit / frass visible
Fruit / internal feeding
Growing point / external feeding
Inflorescence / external feeding
Inflorescence / frass visible
Inflorescence / rot
Leaves / external feeding
Leaves / frass visible
Leaves / internal feeding
Leaves / rot
Roots / external feeding
Stems / external feeding
Whole plant / external feeding
Whole plant / frass visible
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Agonum dorsale Predator
Apotomopterus dehaani Predator Larvae
Aspergillus niger Antagonist
Athrycia curvinervis Parasite Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis caucasicus Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis entomocidus Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. dendrolimus Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis Pathogen Larvae
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen
Blondelia nigripes Parasite Larvae Poland cabbages
Bracon hebetor Parasite Larvae
Campoletis chlorideae Parasite Larvae
Campoletis maculipes Parasite
Carcelia lucorum Parasite Larvae
Chrysoperla carnea Predator
Chrysoperla harrisii Predator Poland
Coccinella septempunctata Predator
Compsilura concinnata Parasite Larvae Poland cabbages
Conomorium patulum Parasite
Copidosoma agrotis Parasite
Copidosoma floridanum Parasite Eggs
Cotesia glomeratus Parasite Larvae
Cotesia ruficrus Parasite Larvae
Diadegma fenestrale Parasite
Dolichovespula media Predator
Encarsia porteri Parasite Eggs
Entomophaga aulicae Pathogen
Erynia gammae Pathogen
Erynia radicans Pathogen
Eulophus pennicornis Parasite
Euplectrus bicolor Parasite
Eurithia consobrina Parasite Larvae
Eutanyacra picta Parasite
Exetastes atrator Parasite
Exorista fasciata Parasite Larvae
Exorista japonica Parasite Larvae
Exorista larvarum Parasite Larvae
Gonia picea Parasite Larvae
Granulosis virus Pathogen
Harpalus rufipes Predator
Hyposoter didymator Parasite
Lecanicillium lecanii Pathogen
Linnaemya picta Parasite Larvae
Linnaemya picta Parasite Larvae
Meloboris leucaniae Parasite
Microgaster tuberculifera Parasite Larvae
Microplitis marshalli Parasite Larvae
Microplitis mediator Parasite Larvae
Muscina pabulorum Predator
Muscina stabulans Predator
Nemoraea pellucida Parasite Larvae
Nilea hortulana Parasite Larvae
Nomuraea rileyi Pathogen
Nomuraea rileyi Pathogen
Nucleopolyhedrosis virus Pathogen
Ophion obscuratus Parasite
Orius sauteri Predator
Paecilomyces farinosus Pathogen
Paecilomyces fumosoroseus Pathogen
Peribaea tibialis Parasite Larvae
Phryxe nemea Parasite Larvae
Phryxe vulgaris Parasite Larvae
Pimpla hypochondriaca Parasite
Podisus maculiventris Predator
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata Predator
Pseudogonia rufifrons Parasite Larvae
Pterostichus melanarius Predator
Serratia liquefaciens Pathogen
Siphona cristata Parasite Larvae
Steinernema feltiae Parasite
Sturmia bella Parasite Larvae
Tachina nupta Parasite Larvae
Trichogramma aurosum Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma brassicae Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma buesi Parasite Eggs Bulgaria sugarbeet
Trichogramma chilonis Parasite Eggs Germany Brassica
Trichogramma danubiense Parasite
Trichogramma dendrolimi Parasite Eggs Germany Brassica
Trichogramma domalae Parasite Eggs Bulgaria sugarbeet
Trichogramma evanescens Parasite Eggs Bulgaria; China; France; Germany; Netherlands; Poland; USSR Brassica; Brussels sprouts
Trichogramma leptoparameron Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma leucaniae Parasite Eggs China
Trichogramma maidis Parasite Eggs Bulgaria; Netherlands Brussels sprouts; cabbages; sugarbeet
Trichogramma mirabile Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma misiae Parasite Eggs Bulgaria sugarbeet
Trichogramma piceum Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma pretiosum Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma principium Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma rhenana Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma rhenanum Parasite Eggs Bulgaria sugarbeet
Vairimorpha antheraeae Pathogen
Voria ruralis Parasite Larvae
Vulgichneumon leucaniae Parasite
Vulgichneumon saturatorius Parasite
Winthemia quadripustulata Parasite Larvae


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APPPC, 1987. Insect pests of economic significance affecting major crops of the countries in Asia and the Pacific region. Technical Document No. 135. Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific region (RAPA).

Bonnemaison L, 1965. Insect pests of crucifers and their control. Annual Review of Entomology, 10:233-356.

Brandsæter LO; Netland J; Meadow R, 1998. Yields, weeds, pests and soil nitrogen in a white cabbage - living mulch system. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture, 16:291-309.

Bues R; Poitout HS; Toubon JF, 1988. Utilization in the framework of reasoned control, sex pheromones of four species of Noctuidae (Mamestra brassicae L., Scotia segetum Schiff., Scotia ipsilon Hfn., Heliothis armigera Hbn). Colloques de l'INRA, No. 46:139-156

Butaye L; Degheele D, 1995. Benzoylphenyl ureas effect on growth and development of Eulophus pennicornis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), a larval ectoparasite of the cabbage moth (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 88(3):600-605

Collier RH; Blood Smyth J; Jarret P, 1996. Managing caterpillar pests of Brassica crops. IOBC/WPRS Bulletin, 19: 81-88.

Dunn JA; Kempton DPH, 1976. Varietal differences in the susceptibility of Brussels sprouts to Lepidopterous pests. Annals of Applied Biology, 82(1):11-19

EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

Filippov N, 1982. Integrated control of pests of vegetable crops grown in the open in Moldavia. Acta Entomologica Fennica, 40:6-9

Finch S; Kienegger M, 1997. A behavioural study to help clarify how undersowing with clover affects host-plant selection by pest insects of brassica crops. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 84(2):165-172; 31 ref.

Finch S; Thompson AR, 1992. Pests of cruciferous crops. In: McKinlay RG ed. Vegetable Crop Pests. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 87-138.

Forster R; Hildenhagen R; Hommes M; Schorn-Kasten K, 1992. Integrierter Pflanzenschutz im Gemüsebau. Praktisziering von BekSmpfungsschwellen für KohlschSdlinge. Schriftenreihe des Bundesministers für ErnShrung, Landwirtenschaft und Forsten, Reihe A: Angewante Wissenschaft, Heft 411.

Forster R; Hommes M, 1992. Supervised control of lepidopterous pests in white cabbage. Bulletin OILB/SROP, 15(4):127-137

Freuler J, 1992. Guidelines and scouting methods in integrated production of field vegetable crops; the situation in Switzerland. Bulletin OILB/SROP, 15(4):122-126

Furunishi S; Masaki S; Hashimoto Y; Suzuki M, 1982. Diapause responses to photoperiod and night interruption in Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology, 17(3):398-409

Geissler K; Schliephake E; Rutskaja V, 1991. Investigations on the insecticidal efficiency of the nuclear polyhedrosis virus of the cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae L.). Archiv fur Phytopathologie und Pflanzenschutz, 27(2):157-161

Gruner C; Sauer KP, 1988. pstival dormancy in the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae L. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). 1. Adaptive significance of variability of two traits: day length thresholds triggering pstival dormancy and duration of pstival dormancy. Oecologia, 74(4):515-523

Heath J; Emmet AM; eds, 1983. The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 9. Colchester, UK: Harley Books.

Heath J; Emmet AM; eds, 1983. The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 9. Colchester, UK: Harley Books.

Hommes M, 1983. Studies on the population dynamics and integrated control of cabbage pests. Mitteilungen aus der Biologischen Bundesanstalt für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, No. 213:210 pp.; [53 fig.]; 16 pp. of ref.

Hommes M; Dunne R; Ellis PR; Fischer S; Freuler J; Kahrer A; Terretaz C, 1988. Testing damage thresholds for caterpillars and aphids on cabbage in five European countries report on a collaborative project done in 1985 and 1986. Bulletin SROP, 9(1):118-126

Injac M; Krnjajic S, 1989. Phenology of the cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae L.) in the Belgrade region. Zastita Bilja, 40(4):423-431

Johansen NS, 1996. Biology, life-tables and prognosis model of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae L. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Biology, life-tables and prognosis model of the cabbage moth, ^italic~Mamestra brassicae^roman~ L. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)., 110 pp.; [ref. at end of papers].

Johansen NS, 1996. Prediction of field occurrence of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): pheromone traps and degree-day model. Norwegian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 10(4):541-554; 18 ref.

Johansen NS, 1997. Influence of temperature on development, fecundity and survival of the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae (L.) (Lep., Noctuidae) in relation to the improvement of forecasting and control methods. Journal of Applied Entomology, 121:81-88.

Johansen NS, 1997. Mortality of eggs, larvae and pupae and larval dispersal of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae, in white cabbage in south-eastern Norway. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 83(3):347-360; 19 ref.

Kahrer A, 1984. The cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae L.). Pflanzenarzt, 37(8):132-133

Karelina TN; Filippov NA; Kleeberg H; Kovalev BG; Puhalskya NA, 1992. Evaluation of the biological activity of NeemAzal and NeemAzal-S against Mamestra brassicae, Pieris rapae and Heliothis armigera. In: Otto D and Weber B, eds. Insecticides: Mechanism of action and resistance. Bristol, UK: Intercept Ltd., 95-106.

Klingen I; Johansen NS; Hofsvang T, 1996. The predation of Chrysoperla carnea (Neurop., Chrysopidae) on eggs and larvae of Mamestra brassicae (Lep., Noctuidae). Journal of Applied Entomology, 120(6):363-367; 30 ref.

Lihnell D, 1940. Sjukdomar og Insektsangrepp i srets soyaodlingar. [Diseases and insect infestations in soybeans]. VSxtskyddnotiser, 4:90-92.

Maniania NK; Fargues J, 1992. Susceptibility of Mamestra brassicae (L.) and Spodoptera littoralis (Boisd.) larvae (Lep., Noctuidae) to the hyphomycetes Paecilomyces fumosoroseus (Brown and Smith) and Nomuraea rileyi (Samson) at two temperatures. Journal of Applied Entomology, 113(5):518-524

Meadow R; Seljssen R, 1996. Dose-response tests with Neem Azal-T against the cabbage moth, 1995. Arthropod Management Tests, 22:411.

Mordue AJ; McKinlay RD; Davidson G; Hughes J, 1993. Azadirachtin and NeemAzal-F in the control of lepidopteran pests of brassicas in Scotland. In: Kleeberg H, ed. Practice oriented results on use and production of neem-ingredients and pheromones. Proceedings of the 2nd workshop, Wetzlar, Germany: 87-88.

Noll J, 1961. Ober den Einfluss der Umweltfaktoren auf die Eiablage der Kohleule (Barathra brassicae L.). VorlSufige Mitteilung. Mitteilungen aus der Biologische Bundesanstalt für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Berlin-Dahlem, 104:143-145.

Ogaard L, 1983. The cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae (L.), Lepidoptera, Noctuidae). Development in Denmark illustrated by a simple simulation. Entomologiske Meddelelser, 50(1):36-46

Omino T; Yokoi S; Tsuji H, 1973. Experimental studies on the daytime behaviour of Noctuid larvae, the cabbage armyworm, Mamestra brassicae, the tobacco cutworm, Spodoptera litura and the black cutworm, Agrotis ipsilon. Japanese Journal of Applied Entomology and Zoology, 17(4):215-220

Peters G, 1992. Auftreten und Artenspectrum einheimischer Parasitoide wichtiger Schadlepidopteren im Kohlanbaugebiet der Köln-Bonner Bucht sowie Möglichkeiten zur Förderung von Apanteles rubecula Marsh. (Hym., Braconidae) als Larvenparasitoid von Pieris rapae (L.) (Lep., Pieridae). Dr. Agric thesis, Bonn, Germany: Institut für Pflanzenkrankheiten der Rheinischen Friederich-Wilhelms-UniversitSt zu Bonn.

Planteforsk and ITAS, 1997. Brukerhsndbok TELEVIS. Rsd om plantedyrking. [Guidelines for the use of TELEVIS. Advice on crop growing]. The Norwegian Crop Research Institute, Plant Protection Centre and the Instrument Service AS, Norway. In Norwegian.

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Rygg T; Kjos ¥, 1975. Kslfly, (Mamestra brassicae (L.)). Noen unders¢kelser over dets biologi og bekjempelse. [Biology and control of the cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae (L.)).] Gartneryrket, 65:286-290.

Schmutterer H, 1985. Which insect pests can be controlled by application of neem seed kernel extracts under field conditions? Zeitschrift fur Angewandte Entomologie, 100(5):468-475.

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Steene F van de, 1994. Laboratory studies of the effectiveness of insecticides against caterpillars of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae (L.). Bulletin OILB SROP, 17:194-201.

Steene F van de; Benoit F; Ceustermans N, 1992. The use of covers to reduce cabbage root fly and caterpillar damage in white cabbage crops. Bulletin OILB/SROP, 15(4):155-167

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Terytze K; Adam H, 1981. The use of pheromone traps for the biological control of the cabbage moth (Barathra brassicae L.) by means of egg parasites of the genus Trichogramma (Trichogramma evanescens Westw.) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae; Hymenoptera, Trichogrammatidae). Archiv fur Phytopathologie und Pflanzenschutz, 17(6):387-396

Terytze K; Adam H; Kovaljev B, 1987. The use of pheromone traps for monitoring harmful Lepidoptera species on cabbage. Archiv fur Phytopathologie und Pflanzenschutz, 23(6):465-473

Terytze K; Terytze H, 1987. The use of bacterial preparations (Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner) for the control of harmful Lepidoptera species on cabbage (Eubacterales: Bacillaceae). Archiv für Phytopathologie und Pflanzenschutz, 23(5):377-387; 24 ref.

Theunissen J; Booij CJH; Schelling G; Noorlander J, 1992. Intercropping white cabbage with clover. Bulletin OILB/SROP, 15(4):104-114

Theunissen J; Booji CHJ; Lotz LAP, 1995. Effects of intercropping white cabbage with clovers on pest infestation and yield. Entomologica Experimentalis et Applicata, 74:7-16.

Theunissen J; Ouden H den, 1980. Effects of intercropping with Spergula arvensis on pests of brussels sprouts. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 27(3):260-268.

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Turnock WJ; Carl KP, 1995. Evaluation of the Palaearctic Eurithia consobrina (Diptera: Tachinidae) as a potential biocontrol agent for Mamestra configurata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Canada. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 5(1):55-67

Veire M van de, 1993. First observations in glasshouse sweet peppers in Belgium and laboratory rearing of the parasitic wasp Eulophus pennicornis (Hym.: Eulophidae). Entomophaga, 38(1):61-62

Veire M van de; Dirinck P, 1986. Sex pheromone components of the cabbage armyworm, Mamestra brassicae: isolation, identification and field experiments. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 41(2):153-155

Wiech K, 1996. Intercropping as possible method of cabbage pest control in Poland. Brighton Crop Protection Conference: Pests & Diseases - 1996: Volume 2: Proceedings of an International Conference, Brighton, UK, 18-21 November 1996., 675-678; 11 ref.

Zhang BC(Compiler), 1994. Index of economically important Lepidoptera. Wallingford, UK: CAB International, 599 pp.

Distribution References

EPPO, 2014. EPPO Global database (available online). Paris, France: EPPO.

EPPO, 2020. EPPO Global database. In: EPPO Global database, Paris, France: EPPO.

Distribution Maps

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