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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Springer, Timothy
item Maas, David

Submitted to: Agronomy Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/25/2003
Publication Date: 10/16/2003
Citation: Springer, T.L., Maas, D.L. 2003. Occurrence of maize billbug and diatraea spp. in eastern gamagrass [abstract]. Crop Science Society Of America. CD-ROM CO6-Springer 663857-poster.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Insects common in maize, Zea mays L., are causing serious problems in eastern gamagrass, Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L. At Woodward, OK, the maize billbug, Sphenophorus maidis (Chittenden), southern cornstalk borer, Diatraea crambidoides (Grote), and southwestern corn borer, Diatraea grandiosella Dyar, reduce seed production of eastern gamagrass. Adult billbugs feed on shoots leaving a transverse row of holes across the leaf blade. This feeding pattern also occurs in maize. Female billbugs chew small holes into the base of culms where they deposit eggs. Invasion of the culm by newly hatched larvae was often noted by a yellowing of one-half of the leaf blade, i.e., from the midrib outward. The culm slowly dies as larvae feed. Larvae of the southern cornstalk borer and southwestern corn borer cause damage by feeding on leaves and boring into the culms. Adults of these insects lay their eggs in the upper plant canopy. Once eggs hatch, the larvae feed in the local area where eggs were laid creating a 'windowpane' effect on the leaf. Larvae move down the culm feeding on lateral inflorescences and eventually bore into the culm where they complete their life cycle. We anticipate that the control of these insects will be solved through an integrated approach of plant breeding and cultural practices.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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