Fall armyworm eggs are laid in clusters and covered in scales, giving a ‘furry’ appearance.

Neonates have translucent bodies with dark heads. Young larvae (up to about 3rd instars) can look very similar to young helicoverpa and other armyworm species. Larger larvae are more easily distinguished.

Pupae look similar to helicoverpa pupae, but are slightly smaller. Female moths are a mottled grey, and males have a rusty patterned forewings.