Spodoptera litura (F.) causes considerable economic damage to multiple agro-crops annually in many countries. In this study, the demography ofS. litura reared on cabbage and taro was investigated using the age-stage, two-sex life table at 25 +/- 1A degrees C, 60 A +/- 10% relative humidity, and a photoperiod of 12: 12 (L:D) h. Our results showed that the net reproductive rate, intrinsic rate, and finite rate of population increase on cabbage (1893.1 offspring, 0.2374 d(-1), and 1.2679 d(-1)) were all not significantly different from those on taro (1361.0 offspring, 0.2298 d(-1), and 1.2584 d(-1)). The net consumption rate on cabbage (439.1 cm(2)) was, however, three times higher than that on taro (141.7 cm(2)). According to the population parameters, both cabbage and taro are suitable host plants forS. litura. When both the population growth rate and the consumption rate were taken into consideration, the finite consumption rate on cabbage (omega = 3.8054) was significantly higher than that on taro (omega = 1.3184). In Taiwan, taro and cabbage are commonly planted in adjacent farm plots, with taro being grown from March to November and cabbage from October to April. Because of the overlapping growth periods of the two crops,S. litura can easily propagate throughout the year by switching between the adjacent crops during the overlap periods. Pest management strategies for controllingS. litura must be thoroughly reevaluated based on ecological characteristics, including its life table and consumption rate on its major host plants.