The Distribution of European Corn Borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) Moths in Pivot-Irrigated Corn

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The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), is a damaging pest of numerous crops including corn, potato, and cotton. An understanding of the interaction between O. nubilalis and its spatial environment may aid in developing pest management strategy. Over a 2-yr period, ≈8,000 pheromone trap catches of O. nubilalis were recorded on pivot-irrigated corn in northeastern Colorado. The highest weekly moth capture per pivot-irrigated field occurred on the week of 15 July 1997 at 1,803 moths captured. The lowest peak moth capture per pivot-irrigated field was recorded on the week of 4 June 1998 at 220 moths captured. Average trap catch per field ranged from ≈1.6 moths captured per trap per week in 1997 to ≈0.3 moths captured per trap per week in 1998. Using pheromone trap moth capture data, we developed a quantified understanding of the spatial distribution of adult male moths. Our findings suggest strong correlations between moth density and adjacent corn crops, prevailing wind direction, and an edge effect. In addition, directional component effects suggest that more moths were attracted to the southwestern portion of the crop, which has the greatest insolation potential. In addition to the tested predictor variables, we found a strong spatial autocorrelation signal indicating positive aggregations of these moths and that males from both inside and outside of the field are being attracted to within-field pheromone traps, which has implications for refuge strategy management.

Keywords: Ostrinia nubilalis; distribution; pheromone; predictive model; spatial

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2013

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