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Old World Bollworm

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Old world bollwworm, cotton bollworm larva(e)
Old world bollwworm, cotton bollworm; Photo by Paolo Mazzei
Scientific Name: 

Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner, 1809) (Pogue 2004)

Common Name: 

Old World bollworm (OWB), cotton bollworm, African bollworm

Native To: 

Found throughout all of the Old World between 40°N and 40°S (Nibouche et al. 1998)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 

In September 2014, the first U.S. detection of OWB occurred in western Puerto Rico (APHIS 2014)

Means of Introduction: 

Frequently intercepted at U.S. ports of entry on imported cut flowers and herbs (Pogue 2004)


Feeds on a large range of plant hosts and could cause serious economic losses to corn and cotton in the U.S. (Tay et al. 2013)

Current U.S. Distribution: 
Not currently established


University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Old World Bollworm.


European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.

Federal Government
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
International Government

Business Queensland (Australia).

State and Local Government

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Division of Plant Industry.

See also: Plant Industry Pest Alerts for more pests

Minnesota Department of Agriculture.


Michigan State University. Integrated Pest Management Program.

See also: Forecasting Invasion Risks for more factsheets
CropLife Latin America.