In this study, we investigated thermotolerance, several physiological responses and damage to reproductive cells in chlorpyrifos-resistant (Rc) and -susceptible (Sm) strains of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella subjected to heat stress. The chlorpyrifos resistance of these strains was mediated by a modified acetylcholinesterase encoded by an allele, ace1R, of the ace1 gene. Adults of the Rc strain were less heat resistant than those of the Sm strain; they also had lower levels of enzymatic activity against oxidative damage, higher reactive oxygen species contents, weaker upregulation of two heat shock protein (hsp) genes (hsp69s and hsp20), and stronger upregulation of two apoptotic genes (caspase-7 and -9). The damage to sperm and ovary cells was greater in Rc adults than in Sm adults and was temperature sensitive. The lower fitness of the resistant strain, compared with the susceptible strain, is probably due to higher levels of oxidative stress and apoptosis, which also have deleterious effects on several life history traits. The greater injury observed in conditions of heat stress may be due to both the stronger upregulation of caspase genes and weaker upregulation of hsp genes in resistant than in susceptible individuals.