Ear maggot

Also known as Ear Maggot, Corn Silk Fly, Maize Whorl Maggot
Latin names:There are over 69 species of Euxesta recorded. E. stigmatias is the most damaging to maize. Other species include E. major, E. sororcula and E. mazorca.

Damage to plants

  • Consumption of maize silks, reducing pollination.
  • Clipping of silks within the silk channel.
  • Blank ear tips due to larval feeding.
  • Destruction of developing kernels.
  • Feeding damage on ears, increasing vulnerability to ear rots (e.g. Fusarium ear rot).
  • Boring into the growing point.


  • Damaged ears.
  • Brown silks.
  • Barren ear tips.
  • Dead seedlings.
  • Dead heart.
  • White creamy maggots beneath ear husks.

Factors favoring insects / pest development

  • Maize germplasm – some varieties are more susceptible than others. Sweet corn is particularly susceptible.
  • Damaged ears.

Geographic distribution

  • This insect occurs throughout tropical America. It is a serious threat in the highland valleys of the Andean region.

For extended information click here