Phenotypic variation in behavioral response and physiological tolerance to permethrin was measured and compared between two populations of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.). A field population from Celeryville, OH, and a laboratory population originally collected from Wooster, OH, were compared. In laboratory choice bioassays, females from both populations were less likely to oviposit on cabbage leaf disks and seedlings treated with permethrin. The oviposition-deterrent effect was positively related to permethrin concentration. The laboratory population was significantly more behaviorally responsive to the insecticide and showed a significantly greater avoidance than the field population of the highest concentration of permethrin tested (1.50 g [AI] /liter). The physiological response of each population was measured by feeding bioassays, and the laboratory population was physiologically more susceptible to the permethrin. Larvae from the laboratory population that were fed permethrin-treated leaves had significantly lower growth rate, higher mortality, and lower adult fecundity compared with larvae from the field population. These data suggest that female moths that are more behaviorally responsive to permethrin produce offspring that tend to be more susceptible to the same insecticide, at least for the populations tested. The relationship between adult behavioral response and larval physiological tolerance to permethrin is discussed.