European Corn Borer

European High-Flyer

Ostrinia nubilalis

European corn borer larva
European corn borer larva. Photo courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service.
European corn borer larvae are a major pest of corn. It was introduced into the U.S. in the early 1900's and is now widespread in the U.S. and Canada east of the Rockies.
Adult moths are light brown (with females darker than males) and have a delta shape when at rest. The are approximately 1/2" in length.
European corn borer adult
European corn borer adult. Photo courtesy of Entomart
Larvae are light brown or gray in color with a row of small brown spots running the length of their body. The head is dark brown.
European corn borer larva
European corn borer larva. Photo courtesy of Frank Peairs, Colorado State University. Licensed under CC BY 3.0.
As their name suggests, European corn borer larvae bore into leaves, ears, and stalks. This leads to yield losses in many areas which can be substantial in a severe infestation. Leaf feeding reduces photosynthetic area. Stalk tunneling weakens the plant and can lead to lodging. Ear feeding directly destroys the crop.
European corn borer larvae can be controlled by several insecticides. Timing is critical since the larvae cannot be controlled once they are protected in the stalk. Always read and follow all label instructions.
Many Bt traits provide protection against European corn borer.