Ostrinia nubilalis Hiibner larva European corn borer

This migratory species is a major pest of maize and sweet corn in continental Europe and in North America but it occurs only rarely in the British Isles. The larvae bore within the maize stems, usually causing them to break; the cobs are also attacked. Infestations can occur on various secondary hosts, including barley, beet and potato; a race of this insect is associated with Artemisia vulgaris.


Adults emerge in June. Eggs are then laid on the underside of leaves of host plants, typically in batches of about 20; the eggs hatch about 10 days later. The larvae at first feed externally but then bore into the stems where they develop. When fully fed, the larvae enter diapause inside the stems or in stubble. In the spring they pupate in situ or in the soil. In northerly parts of its range, this species has just one generation annually; in southern districts, it is capable of completing two or more generations annually. The overwintering stage, although capable of surviving low temperatures, is very susceptible to excessive dampness.


Adult 25-32 mm wingspan; forewings pale yellowish to olive-brown, with irregular greyish markings; hindwings mainly pale grey, with darker grey markings. Larva up to 25 mm long; body pale purplish-brown; pinacula brownish but pale-centred; head brownish-black; proth-

oracic plate pale brown with blackish-brown markings (Plate 13e).

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