The subepidermal pigment glands of cotton accumulate a variety of terpenoid products, including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and terpenoid aldehydes that can act as feeding deterrents against a number of insect herbivore species. We compared the effect of herbivory by Spodoptera littoralis caterpillars, mechanical damage by a fabric pattern wheel, and the application of jasmonic acid on levels of the major representatives of the three structural classes of terpenoids in the leaf foliage of 4-week-old Gossypium hirsutum plants. Terpenoid levels increased successively from control to mechanical damage, herbivory, and jasmonic acid treatments, with E-β-ocimene and heliocide H 1 and H 4 showing the highest increases, up to 15-fold. Herbivory or mechanical damage to older leaves led to terpenoid increases in younger leaves. Leaf-by-leaf analysis of terpenes and gland density revealed that higher levels of terpenoids were achieved by two mechanisms: (1) increased filling of existing glands with terpenoids and (2) the production of additional glands, which were found to be dependent on damage intensity. As the relative response of individual terpenoids did not differ substantially among herbivore, mechanical damage, and jasmonic acid treatments, the induction of terpenoids in cotton foliage appears to represent a non-specific wound response mediated by jasmonic acid.