Lufenuron, N–[2, 5–dichloro–4–(1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3– hexafluoropropoxy) –phenylaminocarbonyl]–2, 6–difluorobenzamide, a novel acylurea insect growth regulator, exerted significant sublethal effects in larvae, pupae and adults of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Second, third and fourth instars were treated at their respective LCM using a standard 'leaf–disc dip' method of bioassay. Sizes and weights of pupae from the treated lots were significantly reduced but larval and pupal durations remained unaffected. All the pupae formed from larvae treated as fourth instars were deformed and produced no adults. Only 38 and 14% of adults emerged from the pupae formed following treatment at the second and third instar, respectively, as compared to 88–92% adult emergence in the controls. Apart from significant reduction in body length, some adults from the treatments had fringed and twisted wings which prevented normal flight. IGR treatment also resulted in pronounced reduction in fecundity (up to 10.2 eggs per female in comparison with 135.8 per female in the control) and oviposition periods (up to 3.2 days in comparison to 7.8 days in the control). Field trials to investigate the management of P. xylostella using lufenuron are recommended.