By: Ed Bynum, Steve Byrns, Tom Fuchs, Rick Minzenmayer and Warren Multer
Cotton Bollworm – Tobacco Budworm
- Both worms are green to brown with stripes the length of the body.
- Heads are tan to amber.
- Both worms have prominent black hairs on the body.
- Closely examine mouthparts (mandibles) with a hand lens to separate the species
Head capsule showing mandibles.
Cotton bollworm. Inside tooth is absent
Tobacco budworm. Inside tooth is present
- Head is tan to dark with a white inverted “Y.”
- Four black dots on the rear of the worm form a “square.”
- The body is usually light green and hairless.
- There are fine white lines along the back, with a broader stripe on each side.
- A small black spot is on each side of the body above the second true leg.
- The body is gray to black with two narrow white lines along the top.
- A series of dark, triangular markings can be seen along the upper body.
- A broad, yellowish or whitish stripe runs along the side of the body.
- A dark spot may be visible on the first abdominal segment.
- The body is pale gray to jet black.
- Along the side of the body is a broad, brown band between two cream or white lines.
- A dark spot appears on the side of the fourth body segment (behind the third true leg).
- Triangular black spots on the upper side of the body are often distinct.
- The worm “inches” or loops when crawling.
- There are three thick pairs of prolegs near the rear of the body.
- A single stripe is seen along the side of the body.
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