The genealogy and diversity of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit II (COII) gene were investigated for Ostrinia furnacalis in Japan. A preliminary examination of mitochondrial lineages in China and the Philippines was also made. Two lineages (A and B) were found in the COII gene. Lineage A was frequent throughout the Japanese main islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu), while the frequency of lineage B varied among these islands. No clear patterns of geographical population structure were found. Population genetic features suggested that the O. furnacalis population harboring the lineage A mitochondria expanded in the recent past, while lineage B showed weak signals of a population expansion. It is not clear whether the two lineages of mtDNA evolved in separate or identical geographical regions. We discuss two hypotheses regarding the two lineages of mtDNA: a cryptic race/species hypothesis and a selective sweep hypothesis.