Apia, Samoa
Identification request
Fresh germinated seedlings got their tops cut off

We sow some seeds last week Wednesday and they started popping on Sunday Morning and on Tuesday the germinated seedlings were standing upright and some have heads/ top cut off and it looked like they were cut or eaten by some kind of a worm or caterpillar or perhaps an unknown

And I notice that feeding on the seedling tops is variety difference...because only the tomato and pepper seedlings that have this problem and not the eggplant seedlings.

I googled to find out what was it but was unable to get any  information on germinated seedling problems except damping off. 

Does anyone have this problem? Were you able to identify it? 

Would appreciate any information you have on this problem.




my suggestion is that the damage is caused by either molluscs (slugs or snails) or some form of cutworm. Take a look at the seedings at dusk or soon after, the culprit is likely to be obvious then. after that you will be better able to determine what to do.

Bob Macfarlane


grahame jackson <grahamejackson@gmail.com>

09:37 (4 minutes ago)
to PestNet
Hi Ange
I would guess it's a cutworm of some kind and they are doing it at night. So either stay up late, or look carefully for a caterpillar in the soil - or both

What usually happens is the seedlings mature at the base first and so the caterpillars, which like the succulent stems, crawl further and further up the seedling