A strategy known as diapause (developmental arrest) has evolved in insects to increase their survival rate under harsh environmental conditions. Diapause causes a dramatic reduction in the metabolic rate and drastically extends lifespan. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the metabolic changes involved. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we compared the changes in the metabolite levels in the brain and hemolymph of nondiapause- and diapause-destined cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, during the initiation, maintenance, and termination of pupal diapause. A total of 55 metabolites in the hemolymph and 52 metabolites in the brain were detected. Of these metabolites, 21 and 12 metabolite levels were altered in the diapause pupal hemolymph and brain, respectively. During diapause initiation and maintenance, the number of metabolites with increased levels in the hemolymph of the diapausing pupae is far greater than the number in the nondiapause pupae. These increased metabolites function as an energy source, metabolic intermediates, and cryoprotectants. The number of metabolites with decreased levels in the brain of diapausing pupae is far greater than the number in the nondiapause pupae. Low metabolite levels are likely to directly or indirectly repress the brain metabolic activity. During diapause termination, most of the metabolite levels in the hemolymph of the diapausing pupae rapidly decrease because they function as energy and metabolic sources that promote pupa-adult development. In conclusion, the metabolites with altered levels in the hemolymph and brain serve as energy and metabolic resources and help to maintain a low brain metabolic activity during diapause.