Host plant constituents as oviposition stimulants for a generalist herbivore: European corn borer

Sujaya Udayagiri, Charles E. Mason

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47 Scopus citations


Oviposition response of the polyphagous European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), to chemical constituents in host plants was investigated in the laboratory using two‐choice bioassays. Foliar extracts of corn (Zea mays L.), pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) were prepared using the solvents pentane, acetone and methanol. In all three host plants, chemicals soluble in pentane stimulated oviposition. In potato, chemicals extractable in acetone also elicited a positive oviposition response. When presented with a choice between pentane extracts of corn and pepper, females preferred corn. No preferences were exhibited between pentane extracts of corn and potato or pepper and potato. Pentane extracts of corn husks, tassels, silk, and corn leaves from plants at early whorl and tassel (pre‐pollen shed) stages of development also stimulated oviposition. Similar extracts from plants at 2‐leaf and blister (when kernels resemble blisters) stages were not stimulatory. This indicates that plant phenology affects chemically mediated oviposition response in European corn borer. The potential use of plant chemicals for management of O. nubilalis in the field is suggested. 1995 The Netherlands Entomological Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1995


  • Ostrinia nubilalis
  • host plant extracts
  • kairomones
  • oviposition response


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