Pubescence characteristics for six accessions of Lycopersicon hirsutum Dunal and five accessions of L. hirsutum f. glabratum CH Mull. were determined and compared with those of an accession of cultivated tomato (L. esculentum Mill.). Removal of trichome exudates from excised leaflets using ethanol solution resulted in a reduced mortality and increased survival of potato moth (Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller)) neonates for the accessions that were most lethal when not treated with ethanol solution. No such treatment effect was evident for L. esculentum or for the L. hirsutum accession with least effect on neonates when its trichomes were intact. In a glasshouse experiment with caged intact plants, mortality of neonate P. operculella placed on the abaxial surface was greater on seven accessions than for L. esculentum.Neonates were less severely affected on the adaxial surface. Eleven days after inoculation, no live larvae were found on LA 1927, PI 127827, PI 134418, and PI 134428, and numbers on other accessions were lower than for L. esculentum. Eventual emergence of adults followed a similar trend. Multiple regression of insect data against pubescence indicated a significant correlation between density of type IV and VI trichomes and neonate mortality, decreased larval development and decreased adult emergence. Non-glandular type V trichomes were positively correlated with high survival of insects to 11 days and to adult. Though factors other than glandular trichomes are likely to be important, increased density of type IV and VI, along with reduced type V, are shown to be important to select in breeding for P. operculella resistance.