Corn earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) damage at various kernel development stages on food maize Academic Article uri icon


  • Feeding by corn earworm, Heliocoverpa zea (Boddie), larvae lowers the quality of food maize by causing damage to kernels that results in discoloration of food maize products during cooking. This damage includes kernel cracking or nipping of kernels by larvae. Larval infestations were highest from first silk to early dough growth stages. Infestations during the silk and blister-dough stages caused the least amount of kernel damage on an ear. The area on an ear exposed to corn earworm damage during the blister, dough, or dent to harvest treatments was similar. Kernels were most susceptible to quality loss when they were hardening. Yield was not affected by corn earworm feeding, but the highest quality loss occurred on ears exposed to earworms during the dent-harvest period and throughout the season. Consequently, late season control actions (during the dough stage) would be more effective for reducing quality loss from corn earworm feeding on food maize, than is the present practice of spraying during the green silk stage.

published proceedings

  • Crop Protection

author list (cited authors)

  • Archer, T. L., & Bynum, E. D.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Archer, TL||Bynum, ED

publication date

  • December 1998