corn earworm or cotton bollworm, destructive larva of a moth, Heliothis zea. Also known as tomato fruitworm, the larva attacks a variety of crops, boring into and feeding on the developing fruits—tomatoes, corn kernels, or cotton bolls. The adult moth is pale yellow. It is classified in the phylum Arthropoda , class Insecta, order Lepidoptera, family Noctuidae.
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