Oriental corn borer

Also known as Asian Maize Borer
Ostrinia furnacalis

Damage to plants

  • Feeding damage on leaves and in the whorl.
  • Boring in the stems, tassels, ears and midribs which can lead to lodging, breaking of tassels, and dropping of ears.


  • The adults, brownish or straw-colored moths, deposit their oval, light-yellow, overlapping, scale-like eggs in clusters of variable sizes on the upper side of leaves or on the husk.
  • Underside of leaves scarified close to empty egg clusters.
  • Perforations and ‘shot-gun’ damage on leaves emerging from the whorl.
  • Large amounts of larval excrement in the leaf axis.
  • Boring tunnels within the stems, tassel, and ears.

Factors favoring insects / pest development

  • Mild cold/winter periods.
  • Reduced tillage enables the larvae to overwinter.
  • Continuous cultivation of hosts.
  • Lack of natural predators.

Geographic distribution

  • Widely distributed in Asia. Overlaps with Ostrinia nubilalis in central Asia.

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