Insecta, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae .
Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images
- This moth attacks maize,wheat, rice, barley, oats, millet (Panicum), sugar cane (Saccarum officinalis), and less frequently asparagus, cotton and Solanaceae.
- Adults: active in the spring. Eggs are laid under the sheath of leaves in small clusters of about ten. They hatch after 10 to 14 days.
- Average fertility: 800 eggs.
- Larva: the neonate caterpillar lives for a few days on the leaf sheath. Then, often after its first moult, it moves to the stem where it lives as an endophyte (*) . After about 2 months and 7 to 8 instars, it pupates (towards the end of June or in July). The resulting moths lay their eggs on flowers and cereal ears.
- These hatch a week later; the caterpillars then attack influorescences. Larval development lasts about 45 days. Some individuals may complete their development at the end of summer and then undertake a brief autumnal flight. Most larvae overwinter in the stems of Graminaceae.
- Pupa: pupation takes place in a loose cocoon woven inside or outside galleries.
- 3 to 4 generations per year.
- In Sardinia and Sicily, adults appear at the end of March or beginning of April, while in more northern countries, hatching begins in April-May and continues until June. In Mediterranean regions, 4 generations occur regularly, and adult flights begin in March; other, sometimes more significant flights occur in April, June, August and October.
Early infested maize plants wilt and die.
On more developed plants, foraging of the culm and the axes of male panicules is the cause of partial drying, breakage under the effect of the wind and a reduced yield.
More serious is the direct damage caused to ears which are attacked either from the exterior or from the interior at different instars of their development; the result is their partial destruction and a reduction in the number of grains (*) .
HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.