African pink borer (extended information)

Description and life cycle

The full-grown (3cm to 4cm) pinkish larvae usually pupate at the base of the stem or within a cocoon in an old leaf sheath.  The adult form has light-brown forewings with dark stripes and silvery white hind wings.  This moth, like the African maize stem borer, deposits nearly spherical, white eggs in rows between the stems and inner surfaces of the bottom leaf sheaths of two- to four week old plants.  On full-grown plants, the moths place their eggs in the leaf sheaths next to the developing ear.  As the time for hatching approaches, eggs become pinkish and then turn brown.