Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée, 1854)
Asian Corn Borer
(one synonym: Botys damoalis Walker, 1859)
PYRAUSTINI ,   PYRAUSTINAE ,   CRAMBIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Ostrinia furnacalis
(Photo: courtesy of Maize Genome Project, University of Missouri)

This Caterpillar is an international pest, for example in:

  • Guam,
  • Papua New Guinea,
  • Philippines, and
  • Taiwan.

    It has been found feeding on:

  • Maize ( Zea mays, POACEAE ),
  • Rhubarb ( Rheum rhabarbarum, POLYGONACEAE ),
  • Pigweed ( Amaranthus, AMARANTHACEAE ), and
  • Eastern Cottonwood ( Populus deltoides, SALICACEAE ).

    Ostrinia furnacalis
    (Photo: courtesy of Maize Genome Project, University of Missouri)

    The young instars only feed on the leaves. When it reaches the fourth instar it bores into the stem. In due course, it pupates inside the tunnel which it has bored.

    Ostrinia furnacalis

    The adult moth is brown with darker zigzag lines and a fuzzy dark spot on each forewing. It has a wingspan of about 3 cms. The pheromones of the species have been determined. The moths also use ultrasonic sounds in their courtship.

    Ostrinia furnacalis
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO Entomology)

    Attempts to control the pest include:

  • keeping the product in an inert atmosphere, such as Nitrogen or Carbon Dioxide,
  • keeping the product in the freezer below -5 Centigrade,
  • detasseling maize,
  • intercropping with Legumes and Sweet Potatoes,
  • insecticides,
  • the breeding of resistant Maize cultivars,
  • use of Neem extract, and
  • natural parasites of this species, such as the egg parasite wasps Trichogramma species, earwigs (Euborellia annulata), flower bugs (Orius tantillus), and lady beetles.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 9.37, pp. 66, 357.

    Achille Guenée, in Boisduval & Guenée,
    Botydae,
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 8 (1854), p. 332, No. 368.


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    (updated 19 July 2010)