Worldwide. Defoliation by caterpillars important on beet, amaranth, and legumes - if attack coincides with pod-filling.
Larvae feed from underside of leaves, making 'windows'; later, feed from within rolled leaves. Up to 25 mm, greyish-green (reddish-pink at maturity), with dark line along back. Adult with white bands on wings.
Spreads on the wing: famous for long-distance migrations; spread in plant trade.
Natural enemies: larval parasitoids.
Cultural control: weed; plant far from infested crops; in small plots, remove leaves with caterpillars, or squash by hand; collect debris and destroy after harvest.
Chemical control: PDPs (neem, derris, pyrethrum, or chilli, with soap to get them into rolled leaves); use spinosad or Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Avoid, synthetic pyrethroids: they will kill natural enemies.