Helicoverpa assulta

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Helicoverpa assulta (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Shipher Wu
Source: Flickr

Helicoverpa assulta (Guenée, 1852) - (cape gooseberry budworm)

This moth is found in tropical and subtropical parts of Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Australia. In contrast to the closely related and polyphagous Helicoverpa armigera, H. assulta feeds mainly on solanaceous crops like tobacco, pepper or tomato. The caterpillars eat the young leaves and buds.

H. assulta and H. america are morphologically very similar. Both species often occur together and can interbreed (Zhao et al., 2005). H. assulta is smaller and the basal part of the hindwings is yellowish. There are also differences in the genitalia structure. DNA analysis is the most reliable method for differentiation (e.g. see Ming & Wang, 2006).

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Orientalische Tabak Raupe
• English: cape gooseberry budworm
Oriental tobacco budworm
• Español: gusano oriental de la yema del tabaco
• Français: noctuelle orientale du tabac

Heliothis assulta