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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Rediscovery of the Southern Cornstalk Borer: A potentially serious pest of Eastern Gamagrass and strategies for mitigation
Year: 2002
Author(s): Krizek, D. T., Solis, M. A., Touhey, P. A., Ritchie, J. C., Millner, P. D.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 277-283
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Eastern gamagrass is considered relatively free of insect pests and plant pathogens. Plots of eastern gamagrass at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, MD were grown successfully for 5 yr without noticeable damage from insects or plant pathogens. However, in 2001, random patches of eastern gamagrass on the North Farm showed mysterious dieback within 2 wk after harvesting the plants on June 18. Upon inspection, larvae were found emerging from the crown tissue. Microscopic examination of the larvae revealed the presence of both noctuid and pyraloid larvae. Although adult moths were not observed, the pyraloid larvae were identified as southern cornstalk borer. This pest feeds upon corn, grain sorghum, Johnsongrass, and eastern gamagrass. A literature search revealed that this pest occurs from Delaware/Maryland to Florida and in inland states (KS, OH, OK, MO, and AZ) through Mexico and northern South America but it has not been reported in its northernmost distribution since 1891. Farmers should be aware of this pest because it is highly destructive. Various strategies for mitigating damage from this pest are discussed.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall