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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

990385n – 19385   Helicoverpa gelotopoeon (Dyar, 1921)
             South American Bollworm
Distribution Data for Helicoverpa gelotopoeon
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Distribution: South America; not found in North America north of Mexico.
and Size:
Forewing length ranges 11-15mm
Larva and
Host Plants:
Allium cepa (Onion), Glycine max (Soybean), Gossypium herbaceum (Levant cotton), Helianthus annuus (Sunflower), Linum usitatissimum (Flax), Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomato), Medicago sativa (Alfalfa), Nicotiana tabacum (Tobacco), Sorghum spp.(Sorghum), and Zea mays (Maize/corn).
Field Marks:
Forewings tan with distinctive brownish-black reniform spot.
Similar Species:
  • Although H. gelotopeon typically has a more distinct wing pattern, this is not reliable reliable to distinguish species of Helicoverpa. Genitalia is required to confirm identity. H. gelotopoeon can be distinguished from H. zea based on the shape of the valves in the male genitalia; “broad and nearly uniform in width for the apical two-thirds of their length” in H. zea and uniformly narrow for most of the length with an enlarged spoon-shaped apical portion in H. gelotopoeon. The vesica of H. gelotopoeon possesses a “thorn” at the entrance of the distal orifice; this is not present in either H. zea or H. armigera.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
  • (1) Natural History Museum: HOSTS- website
  • (2) Todd, E. L. 1955. The distribution and nomenclature of the corn earworm. Jour. Econ. Ent. 48(5): 600-603
  • (3) Species Page at BOLD Barcoding Project - website.
Helicoverpa gelotopoeon
© Christi Jaeger

Moth Photographers Group  at the  Mississippi Entomological Museum  at the  Mississippi State University

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