Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a cosmopolitan species that feeds on numerous cultivated plants and herbaceaus plants. Agrotis ipsilon causes significant economic losses in various agricultural products, especially in indisturial plants and vegetables in Turkey and worldwide. In this study, the effects on the biology and reproductive potential of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L., Asteraceae), maize (Zea mays L., Poaceae), sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris var. saccharifera Alef.,Amaranthaceae) and potato (Solanum tuberosum L., Solanaceae) which are essential host plants of A. ipsilon were investigated under climatized conditions of 28 +/- 1 degrees C, 60% +/- 10 r.h., and 16 h daily artificial light. The data obtained were analyzed by using an age-stage two-sex life table. Agrotis ipsilon had five larval stages fed on lettuce, whereas seven larval stages were fed on other host plants. Agrotis ipsilon showed the best development and reproduction on lettuce, followed by sugar beet. When A. ipsilon is reared on lettuce the intrinsic rate of increase (r = 0.1237 d(-1)), finite rate of increase (lambda = 1.1317 d(-1)) and net reproductive rate (R-0 = 403.06 offspring/individual) were found higher and the mean generation times (T = 48.51 d) is shorter than those in other host plants. According to these results, A. ipsilon can cause the most damage to lettuce among studied plants.