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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED WATER, NUTRIENT AND PEST MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR SUBTROPICAL CROPS Title: Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini (Dyar) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), injury to corn greater than to sorghum and sugarcane under field conditions

Authors
item Showler, Allan
item Wilson, Blake -
item Reagan, Thomas -

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 23, 2012
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Citation: Showler, A.T., Wilson, B.E., Reagan, T.E. 2012. Mexican rice borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) injury to corn greater than to sorghum and sugarcane under field conditions. Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(5):1597-1602.

Interpretive Summary: The Mexican rice borer is the key pest of sugarcane in Texas and it has spread into Louisiana. The pest attacks many grassy crop and noncrop host plants. Our study demonstrates that the pest utilizes corn more than sugarcane and sorghum, and that late summer corn harvest results in movement to nearby sugarcane. Mexican rice borer infestation of corn caused loss of ears, and lodging, shattering, and complete destruction of stalks. The basis for the pest’s attraction to corn and implications to potential range expansion to other United States sugarcane growing regions are discussed.

Technical Abstract: The Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini (Dyar), is the key pest of sugarcane, Saccharum spp., in Texas; it can attack a number of grassy crop and noncrop host plants, and has spread into Louisiana. Through small plot, commercial field, and pheromone trap experiments, this study demonstrates that the pest utilizes corn more than sugarcane and sorghum, but when corn is harvested in late summer, injury to nearby sugarcane strongly increases during the next 2 mo to harvest. Corn was also more infested than sugarcane and sorghum in commercial fields, and regardless of whether sampling occurred on field edges or farther into field interiors. Differences in numbers of infested stalks and in numbers of larval entry holes between field edges and interiors were not detected. We found that Mexican rice borer infestation of corn can cause loss of ears, and lodging, shattering, and complete destruction of stalks. The larger quantities of adult Mexican rice borers captured in pheromone-based traps placed at corn field edges further indicates that corn is preferred to sugarcane and sorghum. The basis for the pest’s attraction to corn and implications to potential range expansion to other United States sugarcane growing regions are discussed.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014