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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #367607

Research Project: Genetic Enhancement of Sunflower Yield and Tolerance to Biotic Stress

Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research

Title: Banded sunflower moth

item KNODEL, JANET - North Dakota State University
item Prasifka, Jarrad

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2019
Publication Date: 10/1/2019
Citation: Knodel, J.J., Prasifka, J.R. 2019. Banded sunflower moth. Extension Publications. 1-8.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The banded sunflower moth is a key pest of cultivated sunflowers in North Dakota and neighboring states. Adult moths are small and tan with a dark brown band across the front wings. Female moths lay most of their eggs on bracts of pre-bloom (R3 and R4) sunflower heads. Larvae feed on bracts, florets and seeds, and complete their development over about a two-week period. Though there can be multiple generations in some locations or some years, in North Dakota, mature larvae will typically drop to the ground, crawl into the soil, and spin silken cocoons in which they spend the winter; pupation will take place the following spring with adults typically emerging in July. Decisions about possible management of banded sunflower moth infestations can be made based upon existing sampling methods, which include scouting fields for moth eggs, moth adults, or using pheromone traps (though the traps are poor tools for decision-making). There are several approved insecticides which are typically most effective is applied during early bloom (R5.1). Other management strategies include planting relatively late, though this increases risk of losses from the red sunflower seed weevils if they are present in the area. Also, some oilseed sunflower hybrids receive relatively little damage from banded sunflower moth, apparently due to an unknown mechanism of host plant resistance.