Patterns of Stem Borer Incidence and Damage to Two Cultivars of Maize in the Field

  • Harish Kumar
Research Article


Two indigenous maize cuitivars, Inbred A and Nyamula, were evaluated in a field trial for their susceptibility/resistance to Chilo partellus at the artificial infestation levels of 10 larvae/plant and 20 larvae/plant. Foliar damage was caused predominantly by C. partellus, but stem-tunnelling was caused not only by C. partellus but also by another species of borer, Eidana saccharina, which invaded the crop during the tassel emergence stage and persisted during harvest. In the 10-week old crop, the number of C. partellus recorded on Nyamula was greater than on Inbred A, but the incidence of injury to foliage and stem-tunnelling on the two cuitivars was the same. At harvest the degree of damage to the two cuitivars varied. At the infestation level of 20 larvae/plant, the cuitivars suffered equal stem-tunnelling. There was a significant negative correlation between stem-tunnelling and yield for Inbred A, but the correlation was not significant for Nyamula. At the infestation level of 10 larvae/plant, the correlation between stem-tunnelling and yield was not significant for either of the cuitivars, perhaps, due to excessive activity of E. saccharina in the stalks of Inbred A.

Key Words

Maize Chilo partellus Eidana saccharina resistance Pyralidae stem borer 


Des essais ont été conduits en plein champ pour évaluer le dégré de résistance/sensibilité de 2 cuitivars locaux de maïs Inbred a et Nyamula, vis à vis de Chilo partellus, sous infestation artificielle avec 10 et 20 larves par plante. Les dégâts foliaires provoqués générallement par C. partellus ont été prédominants; cependant le forage des tiges n’est pas dû uniquement à C. partellus mais aussi à d’autres espèces comme Eldana saccharina qui intervient à partir de la floraison et persiste jusqu’à la récolte. A10 semaines, la densité de C. partellus sur Nyamula était plus élevée que sur Inbred A, mais l’incidence des dégâts était comparable pour les 2 variétés. Les dégâts observés à la récolte varient selon les 2 variétés; au taux d’infestation de 20 larves/plante, les 2 variétés souffrent d’un taux équivalent de forage des tiges. Il existe une corrélation négative significative entre le forage des tiges et le rendement pour Inbred A mais pas pour Nyamula. Au taux d’infestation de 10 larves/plante, la corrélation n’est pas significative pour aucune des 2 variétés, en raison peut-être de l’activité prédominante de E. saccharina dans les tiges de Inbred A.

Mots Clés

Chilo partellus Eldana saccharina résistance Pyralidae foreur de tige 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harish Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)NairobiKenya

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