FAMILY HELIOTHINAE
View Image Gallery of Subfamily Heliothinae

Helicoverpa armigera Hubner
Noctua armigera
Hubner, 1803-1808, Samml. Europ. Schmett. Noct.2: Fig. 370.
Helicoverpa armigera Hubner; Hardwick, 1965: 91 (full synonymy); Holloway, 1976: 8.


Helicoverpa armigera



Helicoverpa armigera
larva


Diagnosis.
Both this and the next species have similar forewing fasciation, and hindwings with a lenticular dark brown border containing usually a diffuse pale patch in the centre of the distal half. On the underside the forewing reniform is darkened, and there is an incomplete submarginal brown band on both wings. This band is usually much weaker in the next species, which is yellower with more clearly defined forewing fasciation, particularly the postmedial which is entire, double, rather than lunulate. In the male genitalia, the middle spine of the cluster on the most basal coil of the aedeagus vesica is larger than all other spines on the vesica in armigera (Hardwick, 1965)

Taxonomic notes.
Hardwick recognised three subspecies. The typical race flies throughout most of the range, ssp. conferta Walker in Australia and the Pacific and ssp. commoni Hardwick on Canton I.

Geographical range.
Old World tropics and subtropics and east into Pacific.

Habitat preference.
Only one recent specimen has been seen, from Kundasan, a cultivated area at about 1050m on the slopes of G. Kinabalu. 

Biology.
The adults are migratory.


The larva above has been recorded from a wide range of hosts from  many plant families, such as Acanthaceae, Aizoaceae, Alliaceae, Anacardiaceae, Apocynaceae, Cannabidaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Cleomaceae, Compositae, Cruciferae, Cucurbitaceae, Gramineae, Labiaceae, Leguminosae, Linaceae, Malvaceae, Musaceae, Papaveraceae, Resedaceae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae, Rutaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Solanaceae, Vitaceae, Zygophyllaceae; it is a serious pest of such crops as maize, tomato, tobacco, cotton, flax, pulses and citrus fruit (Hardwick, 1965; Matthews, 1988).

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