LESSER CORNSTALK BORER, Elasmopalpus lignosellus (Zeller)
Description Picture Damage
  • moths are brownish gray with less than 1-inch wing expanse
  • female forewings are darker than those of the male
  • caterpillars are slender, about 3/4 inch long
  • light green with faint stripes and more prominent, transverse brown bands

  • Photo credit: Extension Entomology, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University
  • larvae bore into corn and bean stems at ground level or below the soil
  • tunnel upwards causing plant death
  • injury is usually more severe in fields that had Johnsongrass or sorghum previously
  • corn after fallow fields is seldom damaged
  • soils moist enough to germinate seed are optimum for adult emergence