Sesamia nonagrioides

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Sesamia nonagrioides larva in a maize stalk
Author: Jaime Barros-Rios, Misión Biológica de Galicia, Spain

Sesamia nonagrioides (Lefèbvre, 1827) - (Mediterranean corn stalk borer)

This moth attacks cereals, sugarcane and various other crops in Mediterranean countries, Africa (Sesamia nonagrioides botanephaga) and Asia. In particular maize and sorghum are damaged and yield losses can reach 30%. In maize, the females insert eggs between the stem and the lower leaf sheaths. The larvae feed inside the stems and also attack the ears and the leaves.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Maiseule
• English: Mediterranean corn stalk borer
• Español: taladro o barrenador Mediterráneo del maíz
• Français: noctuelle du maïs

The wingspan of the adults is 30 to 40 mm and the larvae reach about the same length. The development from egg, over 7 to 8 larval stages to mature adult takes 2-3 months. A diapause during unsuitable conditions may interrupt the development. Between 2 and 4 generations develop in one year.

Sesamia botanephaga