Lesser Cornstalk Borer
Elasmopalphus lignosellus (Fabricius)

Description and Damage: Larvae of the lesser cornstalk borer attack the root systems and lower stalks of sorghum by burrowing into the stalks just below the soil surface. Larvae are light bluish green with prominent transverse brown bands that may appear purplish. They are slender and about 3 /4 inch long. Larvae feed from silken tunnels attached to the plant. The moth is brownish gray with a wing expanse of less than 1 inch.

Biology: Eggs are laid on the soil near the plant or on the host plant, and hatch in about 7 days. The larva becomes fully grown in 2 to 3 weeks. Larvae have a distinctive habit of jerking and skip-ping when disturbed. Larvae pupate in silken cocoons under crop debris. The pupal stage lasts 2 to 3 weeks. Larvae or pupae pass the winter in stalk burrows in the soil.