Corn Earworm (Helicoverpa zea)
Helicoverpa zea, commonly known as the corn earworm, is a species (formerly in the genus Heliothis) in the family Noctuidae. The larva of the moth Helicoverpa zea is a major agricultural pest. Since it is polyphagous (feeds on many different plants) during the larval stage, the species has been given many different common names, including the cotton bollworm and the tomato fruitworm. It also consumes a wide variety of other crops.
The species is widely distributed across the Americas with the exception of northern Canada and Alaska. It has become resistant to many pesticides, but can be controlled with integrated pest management techniques including deep ploughing, trap crops, chemical control using mineral oil, and biological controls.
The species migrates seasonally, at night, and can be carried downwind up to 400 km. Pupae can make use of diapause to wait out adverse environmental conditions, especially at high latitudes and in drought.
FW is yellowish tan to dull orange with a darker band beyond toothed PM line. Reniform spot typically has dusky dot in inner half. HW is whitish with blackish veins and wide terminal line.
Hosts: Low plants and crops, including corn, cotton, tomato and tobacco.