Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Lepidoptera-Noctuidae

DELTA home

L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Helicoverpa Hardwick

Adults. Head rough. Face with a rounded prominence. Eyes glabrous; not ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate.

Wingspan 30–40 mm. The thorax coloured like the forewings, the abdomen like the hindwings. A species of almost worldwide distribution, recorded from Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Forewings buff to rich ochreous; neither purplish nor rosy marked or tinged; almost plain, or patterned transversely; the patterning well marked to obscure (with faintish lines, some reduced to rows of dots); reniform defined; orbicular defined to undefined; claviform undefined. Hindwings whitish and fuscous, or whitish-fuscous and fuscous; terminally darkened to conspicuously patterned (with a broad, contrasty dark fuscous terminal band); with a clear discal mark; without transverse lines; exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings weak; arising nearer to vein 6 than to vein 4. Thorax not crested. Middle tibiae with spines. Posterior tibiae with spines. Abdomen not crested.

Living adults found August to October.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly rounded; feeding on various herbaceous plants, including geraniums, tomatoes and roses, sometimes a horticultural pest in parts of the range of the species; pupating on the surface of the ground, or in the soil.

British representation. 1 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, and Wales (local); armigera armigera (Scarce Bordered Straw).


Illustrations. • H. armigera (Scarce Bordered Straw), with other Heliothidinae and Acontiinae: Newman.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Lepidoptera-Noctuidae. Version: 8th June 2016.’.