Helicoverpa assulta (Guenée, 1852)
Oriental Tobacco Budworm
(one synonym : Heliothis succinea Moore, 1881)
HELIOTHINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

The Caterpillars of this species are sometimes a pest, attacking various plants in the family SOLANACEAE, including :

  • Tobacco ( Nicotiana tabacum ) ,
  • Bell Papper ( Capsicum annuum ), and
  • Devil'd Trumpets ( Datura species )
  • the fruits of Cape Gooseberries ( Physalis peruviana ).


    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The adult moths have a complex subtle brown pattern on the forewings. The hindwings are yellowish orange, with a broad brown margin containing a pale mark. The wingspan is about 3 cms.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The pheromones of this species have been studied. The species can interbreed with Helicoverpa armigera to produce viable offspring.

    Attempts to control the pest include:

  • the use of semiochemicals,
  • a Nucleopolyhedrovirus,
  • the egg parasites wasp Trichogramma chilonis, ( TRICHOGRAMMATIDAE ),

    The species occurs from Africa to the south Pacific, including :

  • China,
  • Hawaii,
  • India,
  • Japan,
  • New Guinea,
  • Tahiti,

    as well as in Australia in:

  • the north of Western Australia.
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp. Fig. 50.10, 65, 468-469.

    Achille Guenée,
    Noctuélites,
    in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire Naturelle des Insectes; Spécies Général des Lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 6 (1852), pp. 178-179, No. 928.

    Marcus Matthews,
    Heliothine Moths of Australia:
    A Guide to Pest Bollworms and Related Noctuid Groups,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 1999.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 161.


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    (updated 8 August 2012)