1. Commonly known as owlet moths or owl moths, catepillars are known as cutworm, armyworms and some called Semi-loopers.
2. They are small to large moths with a wingspan ranging in size from 10 to 170 millimeters .
3. Noctuidae constitutes the largest family in the Lepidoptera that includes more than 35,000 known species in more than 4,200 genera.
4. Most species are active at night (Nocturnal) and are commonly attracted to light. However the subfamily Agaristinae and subfamily Arctiinae consist of brightly coloured day flying species.
5. Usually they are dull in colour, but some have colourful hindwings.
6. Sexual dimorphism varies by species, but males can generally be distinguished by their larger, broader antennae.
7. The Caterpillars of Noctuidae are usually smooth, or with very little hairs (tufts of short bristles). They are from small to large size. Most are active at night.
8. Several species have larvae (caterpillars) that live in the soil (Cutworms) or in a crevice in its food plant ( Armyworms ) and are agricultural or horticultural pests.
9. Most Noctuidae pupate in the soil but some pupate under a leaf of their food plant.
Family Noctuidae in Sri Lanka
The Family noctuidae is the largest family of Lepidoptera and undergoes continuous changes in taxonomy. During the past century different taxonomic changes of Lepidoptera have been occurred and are being continued. Therefor the Sri Lankan Lepidoptera (Moths) needs revisions. However Majority of Sri Lankan Lepidoptera might represent the Family noctuidae.