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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

1. The four-lined borer, Luperina stipata (Morr.), is a native insect, normally feeding upon slough grass, but occasionally causing considerable "dead heart" damage to corn.

2. There is but one generation each year. The overwintering eggs hatch during late April or early May, and after a growing period of from 10 to 14 weeks the larvae pupate. The moths emerge during the fore part of August and deposit eggs for the next year's brood.

3. Quality of food and temperature materially affected the length of larval life of laboratory specimens. Apparently quality of food (succulent versus woody) determined the amount of growth (as measured by the increase in width of successive head capsules) that occurred during a stadium and the number of molts required to complete development. On the other hand temperature determined the rate of development (as measured by the duration of the individual stadia).

4. Natural enemies play an important part in holding this insect in check. The 21 species of parasites and predators are represented by: two Diptera, seven Hymenoptera, four Coleoptera, three Hemiptera, two mammals and three diseases.

5. Borers collected from Spartina were parasitized, but those taken from corn were free from parasites.

6. Elimination of slough grass from fence rows and burning the heavily infested grasslands between Nov. 1 and April 1 are recommended as means of control.

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