The members of Poxviridae family are among the most complex of animal viruses and subfamily members infect both vertebrate (Chordopoxvirinae) and invertebrate (Entomopoxvirinae) hosts, respectively. Vaccinia virus (VV) is the most commonly studied vertebrate virus and the entomopoxvirus of Amsacta moorei (AmEPV) is the prototypic insect virus. AmEPV, while not able to productively infect vertebrate cells, does enter vertebrate cells and expresses early genes after which the infection aborts although the cells survive (Y. Li, R. L. Hall, and R. W. Moyer. J.Virol. 71(12), 95579562, 1997). We show here that a recombinant VV, containing the lacZ gene regulated by the cowpox virus A-type inclusion (ATI) late promoter, likewise does not productively infect insect cells. Our results suggest that the recombinant VV enters insect cells, host protein synthesis is inhibited, early gene expression is normal, and viral DNA replication occurs as does late protein synthesis. However, little if any proteolytic processing of late viral proteins, typical of morphogenesis, is observed. Electron micrographs of infected cells suggest that while cytoplasmic virosomes (factories) are formed, there is little indication of further morphogenesis or any formation of mature virions. Therefore, while both orthopoxviruses and entomopoxviruses fail to replicate in heterologous hosts, the nature of abortive infections is quite different.