Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), H. assulta Guenée and Heliothis peltigera (Denis & Schiffermüller) were collected as mixed populations from safflower and the wild host Datura metel, from Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India, in 1992 and 1993, and their toxicological responses to insecticides determined. Both Helicoverpa armigera strains were highly resistant to cypermethrin, fenvalerate, endosulfan and quinalphos insecticides, based on resistance ratios relative to laboratory reared susceptible strains. There was no evidence of resistance development in H. assulta and Heliothis peltigera to the same chemicals. Light trap data collected from 1974 to 1987 showed that Helicoverpa armigera was at least 100 times more abundant than the other two species over most of the cropping season. Peak catches of H. assulta and Heliothis peltigera were confined to defined times in the season, corresponding with the flowering and fruiting periods of their respective host plants; August to October for Helicoverpa assulta and November to December for Heliothis peltigera. Helicoverpa armigera on the other hand, because of its high polyphagy on commercial and wild hosts, was abundant between August and April. Resistance has not developed in H. assulta and Heliothis peltigera in southern India, probably because of their restricted host range, limiting exposure to insecticides.
Bulletin of Entomological Research (1996) 86 (5) 525-531 [DOI: 10.1017/S0007485300039316]