University of Florida

Tomato Fruit Worm

Helicoverpa zea

  • Adult: male forewing cream-colored with orange or olive cast, female light yellow brown with indistinct vertical lines. Active at night, with a 1 1/2 in. wing span.
  • Egg: waxy white, dome-shaped and ribbed, with a flat base, found on under surface of leaves or even petals of flowers; hatch in 2-3 days, laid singly.
  • Larva: color variable, ranging from very dark to light green or pink, alternating longitudinal dark and light stripes, skin covered with short sharp microspines, larval stage lasts 14-21 days.
  • Pupa: brown, found in soil, adult emerges in 7-14 days.
  • Generation Time: 28-35 days.
  • Damage: larvae chew large, deep holes in fruit, especially at stem end; occasionally feed on foliage.

Tomato Fruitworm Pictures

Fruitworm adult
Image #26.
Tomato Fruitworm
adult has yellowish-brown front wings with indistinct vertical lines and is active at night.

Tomato Fruitworm
Image #36.

Tomato Fruitworm

larvae may feed on foliage but prefer feeding on fruit, often at calyx end;

eggs are ridged and are deposited singly, usually on lower surfaces of leaves adjacent to or near flowers.