Tobacco Bud Worm – Heliothis virescens




Wingspan of 28-35 mm. Forewings are brownish suffused with green. Three dark transverse bands are present usually each with a cream coloured border. Hind wings are whitish with a dark distal band around the margin.


First instars are 1.1 to 4 mm in length, yellowish to yellowish green in colour with a yellowish-brown head. Final instars reach 23.3-35.6 mm in the final instar and are greenish, pinkish or reddish coloured with dorsal and lateral whitish bands and a brown head. The body usually bears numerous black microspines.


Spherical with a flattened base, 0.5-0.6 mm in width. Initially whitish-yellow in colour, becoming grey with age. Laid blossoms, fruit and terminal growth points.


The Americas

Economic Host(s)

A wide range of crops including cotton, tobacco, soybean, cabbage, pepper, squash and tomato.


Early instars usually feed on young leaves and plant tissue while later instars often feed on fruit, buds and blossoms. Loss of terminal buds can cause distortions in growth and cotton bracts attacked are often shed.


4-5 (climate dependent)


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