Black Cutworm Damage: Photo-Reference Chart

 
early damage Damage to seedling corn shortly after emergence. This type of injury occurs when cutworms are quite small and unable to cut stems below-ground. Instead, they feed in the whorl at night at the soil surface.
withered seedling Damage from stem being cut below-ground by later-stage cutworm. Symptoms may not be noticeable in the early morning, but will be evident later in the day with increasing air temperatures and moisture stress.
late damage Once plants exceed 12" in height, they are relatively immune from attack. Stems are difficult to cut through, but injury can occur. Damage, however, usually is less extensive over a field.
cutworm picture This is a mature black cutworm. Note the dark, greasy appearance and the pebbly texture of the skin. Remember that other cutworm species may be present in the field, such as dingy, darksided, or claybacked cutworms. You should be aware of the kinds of cutworms in your area, their appearance, and life histories.