Intra- and inter-population genetic variability and the demographic history of Heliothis virescens (F.) populations were evaluated by using mtDNA markers (coxI, coxII and nad6) with samples from the major cotton- and soybean-producing regions in Brazil in the growing seasons 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10. AMOVA indicated low and non-significant genetic structure, regardless of geographical scale, growing season or crop, with most of genetic variation occurring within populations. Clustering analyzes also indicated low genetic differentiation. The haplotype network obtained with combined datasets resulted in 35 haplotypes, with 28 exclusive occurrences, four of them sampled only from soybean fields. The minimum spanning network showed star-shaped structures typical of populations that underwent a recent demographic expansion. The recent expansion was supported by other demographic analyzes, such as the Bayesian skyline plot, the unimodal distribution of paired differences among mitochondrial sequences, and negative and significant values of neutrality tests for the Tajima's D and Fu's FS parameters. In addition, high values of haplotype diversity (Ĥ) and low values of nucleotide diversity (π), combined with a high number of low frequency haplotypes and values of θπ<θW, suggested a recent demographic expansion of H. virescens populations in Brazil. This demographic event could be responsible for the low genetic structure currently found; however, haplotypes present uniquely at the same geographic regions and from one specific host plant suggest an initial differentiation among H. virescens populations within Brazil.