Vrille (Vri), a basic leucine zipper transcription factor, plays important roles in insect circadian clock regulation, tracheal development, proliferation, flight and metamorphosis. Here, Helicoverpa armigera was used as a model to investigate the role of Vri in larval moulting and metamorphosis. Sequence analysis results revealed that H. armigera Vri (HaVri) shares a high amino acid identity with other Lepidoptera Vri homologues. Spatial-temporal expression pattern data showed that HaVri expression was highly abundant in larval moulting and metamorphosis stages and was mainly expressed in the midgut and Malpighian tubule during metamorphosis. HaVri knockdown by RNA interference in the fourth-instar larvae prevented larval moulting, and HaVri knockdown in the fifth-instar larvae suppressed midgut remodelling and delayed or blocked metamorphosis. Further studies confirmed that 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) activated HaVri expression via its heterodimer receptors, ecdysone receptor (EcRB1) and ultraspiracle protein (USP1), whereas methoprene [juvenile hormone analogue (JHA)] promoted HaVri expression via its intracellular receptor methoprene-tolerant (Met1). However, 20E and JHA can counteract each other in the activation of HaVri expression. Together, the present results suggested that HaVri was involved in larval moulting and metamorphosis and was regulated by 20E and JHA in H. armigera.