Occurrence of Chilo partellus on Maize in Major
Maize Growing Areas of Punjab, Pakistan
Muhammad Nabeel,1,* Humayun Javed1 and Tariq Mukhtar2
1Department of Entomology, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
2Department of Plant Pathology, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
Received 21 August 2017
Revised 26 September 2017
Accepted 17 October 2017
Available online 15 January 2018
NM, TM and HJ designed the
study, executed experimental work
and analyzed the data. TM and HJ
supervised the work. TM helped in
preparation of the manuscript.
Incidence, Prevalence, Maize borer,
Infestation, Zea mays.
Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important nutritious crops in the world. In Pakistan, this is the
3rd largest cultivated crop. The yield of maize is greatly affected by many insect pests and maize borer
(Chilo partellus Swinhoe) has been identied as one of the major limiting factors to maize production
throughout the world. As the information regarding its distribution is lacking therefore, its incidence and
prevalence was determined in seven major maize growing districts of Punjab during 2016. The maximum
overall incidence of maize borer (12%) was recorded in Khanewal district followed by Multan (6%) while
it was the minimum (1%) in district Okara. On the other hand, maximum prevalence of maize borer was
observed in district Vehari (100%) followed by districts of Khanewal and Multan (73%) while minimum
prevalence of 33% was recorded in district Sahiwal. As regards cultivars, maximum incidence of maize
borer (13%) was recorded on cultivar 8621 followed by C1543 (10%) and the minimum was found on
cultivar 71R88 and Desi. No infestation of the borer was observed on cultivars 88R88, 30T87 and 15P43.
It is concluded that maize borer has been found fairly distributed in the major growing districts of Punjab;
hence strict control measures should be adopted to minimize its damage. Some cultivars were found
resistant to the borer infestation and are recommended for cultivation.
Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important
cereal crops, cultivated on 17% of the cultivated land
worldwide with 24% grain production in the world (Abid,
1983). In Pakistan, maize is cultivated on 1169 thousand
hectares with 4944 thousand tons annual production
(Anonymous, 2015). Maize crop is used for multiple
purposes such as fuel, food for human, fodder for livestock
and feed for poultry. Successfully cultivated throughout
Pakistan and mostly concentrated in Punjab and NWFP,
it contributes about 98% of total country’s production.
Maize yield per hectare has not been increasing even in the
presence of high yielding cultivars mainly due to a large
number of biotic factors like fungi (Iqbal and Mukhtar,
2014; Iqbal et al., 2014), bacteria (Shahbaz et al., 2015;
Aslam et al., 2017a, b), nematodes (Hussain et al., 2014;
2016; Kayani et al., 2017; Khan et al., 2017; Mukhtar et al.,
2014, 2017a, b; Tariq-Khan et al., 2017), viruses (Ashfaq
et al., 2014a, b, 2015, 2017) and insect pests (Ahmed et
al., 2002, 2003; Naz et al., 2003). Maize is attacked by
140 different insect species with their different level of
damage percentage. Out of 140 species of insect pests,
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
0030-9923/2018/0001-0317 $ 9.00/0
Copyright 2018 Zoological Society of Pakistan
only 12 species are the serious pests of maize causing
damage from sowing to the harvesting and also in the
storage conditions (Siddiqui and Marwaha, 1993). Maize
crop is attacked by insects (army worm, stem borer, thrips,
aphids, termites, white grub, seed corn maggots, root
worms, Indian meal moth, grain borer and grain weevil)
during their storage. Maize crop can be attacked at any
stage of their life even after harvesting. The severity of pest
attack depends upon the cultivars, cultivation practices,
mode of storage and environmental conditions (Arabjafari
and Jalai, 2007). A wide variety of insect pests attack
maize crop resulting in heavy losses annually. Among
these pests, Chilo partellus (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is
one of the most dangerous pests and causes tremendous
damage to maize crop (Kavita et al., 2016; Yonow et al.,
2017). It has been reported to cause damage to the extent
of 42.29% (Dejen et al., 2014). In case of severe damage, it
can cause yield reduction up to 75% (Sharma and Gautam,
2010). In Africa and Asia, C. partellus is economically the
most notorious pest of sorghum and maize (Bosque-Perez
and Schulthess, 1998). In different agro-climatic regions
of India, C. partellus has caused damage of 26.7-80.4%
to sorghum (Sethuraman and Narayanan, 2010). It is the
principal pest in lowland areas (Yonow et al., 2017). C.
partellus takes 30-40 days to complete its life cycle. The
larvae appreciably grow more rapidly and 4th instar larva
consumes more food than others. Pupal period passes
Pakistan J. Zool., vol. 50(1), pp 317-323, 2018. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17582/journal.pjz/2018.50.1.317.323
3 1 8
within 7-10 days and eggs hatch in 5-6 days (Panchal and
Kachole, 2013). Larval stages are the most destructive and
make tunnels inside the stem or stalk after hatching from
eggs (Yonow et al., 2017). Increased structural damage
results in crop lodging and there is less ear formation. It
may also lead to rottening of ears resultantly phytotoxins
are produced (Nderitu, 2000). The borer causes injury to
maize by feeding on leaves, making tunnels in the stalks,
disrupting the ow of nutrients to ears and nally causing
deadhearts. The larvae move from one plant to other
through the holes made at the lower nodes of the plant and
pupate in the stem (Lella and Srivastav, 2013).
In Pakistan this pest causes signicant yield losses.
As information on the incidence and prevalence is lacking
in the major maize growing areas of the Punjab province,
therefore, the objective of the present studies was to
determine its incidence and prevalence in seven major
districts and on different maize cultivars.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
To record the incidence of maize borer, elds were
randomly selected from seven major maize growing
districts (Khanewal, Multan, Okara, Pakpattan, Sahiwal,
Vehari and Toba Tek Singh) of the Punjab province. A total
of 103 elds were visited and from each district 10-15 elds
were randomly selected. Fields were visited only once
during the survey. Hundred plants from each eld were
selected randomly by simple random sampling method to
record the maize borer infestation. The incidence in each
eld was determined by the method described by Mukhtar
et al. (2017b). During surveys different factors i.e. age
of crop, variety cultivated, area under cultivation, date of
sowing, number of irrigations, fertilizers and pesticides
were also recorded. Similarly, incidence in each eld of
each district was recorded and the individual incidence of
each district was calculated. The prevalence of maize borer
in each district was determined as described by Fateh et al.
(2017). The incidence on each cultivar in each district and
overall incidence on each cultivar was also calculated. All
the graphs were made in Microsoft Excel 2007.
The maximum overall incidence of maize borer
(12%) was recorded in Khanewal district followed by
Multan (6%) while it was the minimum (1%) in district
Okara. On the other hand, maximum prevalence of maize
borer was observed in district Vehari (100%) followed by
districts of Khanewal and Multan (73%) while minimum
prevalence of 33% was recorded in district Sahiwal. The
individual incidence and prevalence of the insect pest have
been shown in Figure 1.
Fig. 1. Overall incidence and prevalence of maize borer in
seven districts of Punjab.
As regards cultivars, maximum incidence of maize
borer (13%) was recorded on cultivar 8621 followed by
C1543 (10%) and the minimum was found on cultivar
71R88 and Desi. No infestation of the borer was observed
on cultivars 88R88, 30T87 and 15P43. The individual
incidence of maize borer on each cultivar has been given in
Figure 2. The individual incidence on each of the cultivars
in each district is given in Figure 3. In district Khanewal
maximum incidence was recorded on cultivar 31R88
while the minimum was on the cultivar 302287 (Fig.
3A). In district Multan the incidence was the maximum
on cultivar C1543 while it was the minimum on C1574
(Fig. 3B). The incidence of the borer was found to be the
maximum on cultivar S7720 and the minimum on cultivar
30Y87 in district Okara. Cultivars 15P46, 6417, 6789 and
81R88 were found free of the infestation (Fig. 3C). As
regards district Pakpattan, the maximum incidence (27%)
of borer was recorded on cultivar NK6654 while the rest of
the cultivars showed incidence up to 4% (Fig. 3D).
In district Toba Tek Singh, the maximum incidence
was found on Cultivar 31R88 and the minimum was
observed on cultivars Desi and 7720 while the cultivars
6714 and 30T60 did not show infestation of the borer (Fig.
3E). In district Vehari all the cultivars were found infested
with the borer. The maximum incidence was recorded on
cultivars 30T60 and 31R88 while the minimum incidence
of 5% was found on cultivars 6789, 339 and 71R88
as shown in Figure 3F. Similarly, in district Sahiwal,
infestation of the borer was recorded on four cultivars
while the remaining four cultivars did not show infestation
of the pest (Fig. 3G).
M. Nabeel et al.
3 1 9
Fig. 2. Overall incidence of maize borer on each cultivar of maize.
In the present study, differences in the incidence and
prevalence of maize borer were recorded in seven major
maize growing districts of the Punjab province of Pakistan.
Similarly, variations in the infestation of maize borer were
also observed on various cultivars grown in these districts.
Different researchers have reported incidence of maize
borer in different countries. Naz et al. (2003) reported that
C. partellus was one of the serious maize pests causing
24.5% damage with varying incidence. Dejen et al. (2014)
found 1-100% incidence of maize borer in different
localities of the North-eastern Ethiopia. Similarly, 2-62%
damage was recorded in the North Wollo. The damage was
also recorded as 84-99% by C. partellus in the Oromia zone.
Mashwani et al. (2015) showed that the highest infestation
of 27% was recorded from the Palo area while the lowest
damage was recorded as 15% from Badder region.
The differences in the incidence are due to different
abiotic factors prevailing in these districts. Incidence and
infestation of maize borer has been found affected by
irrigation (Kumar and Asino, 1994), fertilizers (Arshad
et al., 2013) and applications of pesticides. It has been
observed that over irrigation cause lodging of plants. Plants
have more watery and juicy contents and become soft which
help C. partellus to bore easily into the stem of plants and
cause more damage. Fertilizers are benecial for plants
to fulll their nutrients demands for their better growth,
development and health. A healthy plant can withstand or
face the adverse factors of environment. But the excessive
use of fertilizers makes the plants more susceptible for the
pest attack. By the use of excessive nitrogen, the plants
show excessive growth of foliage and become lush green
which attract the insect pests and increase the incidence
of the borer. On the other hand, application of pesticides
reduces the incidence and infestation of maize borer
(Khan and Amjad, 2000; Koul et al., 2013). Different
environmental conditions also affect the incidence of maize
borer. It was found that temperature, relative humidity and
their interaction signicantly affected the developmental
time, adult longevity and potential fecundity of the pest.
Developmental time was inversely related to temperature
(Tamiru et al., 2012).
The pest status of C. partellus is also inuenced by
survival and dispersal of rst- and second-instar larvae
(Chapman et al., 1983; Bernays et al., 1985), larval
behaviour and host-plant resistance (Woodhead and
Taneja, 1987), larval movements, feeding and development
(Ampofo and Kidiavai, 1987; Alghali and Saxena, 1988),
larval infestations (Rensburg et al., 1988), ovipositional
responses (Kumar, 1988) and maize oral initiation and
infestation (Sharma and Sharma, 1987). Crop stage also
affects the infestation of maize borer. At early stage the
plants being tenderer are more frequently attacked by the
borer as compared to older ones which show resistance
towards the insect pests. Biological control agents have
also been reported to lower the incidence of insect pests
(Rahoo et al., 2017).
Occurrence of Chilo partellus on Maize 319
3 2 0
Fig. 3. Variety wise incidence of maize borer in district Khanewal (A), Multan (B), Okara (C), Pakpattan (D), Toba Tek Singh (E),
Vehari (F) and Sahiwal (G).
The results of the present survey revealed that the
maximum incidence of maize borer was found in Khanewal
district, the incidence was intermediate in Multan district
while the minimum incidence was observed in the Okara
district. Maximum incidence of maize borer in Khanewal
was due to over irritation as compared to the crop age
and in Multan the irrigation is little higher while in Okara
district the irrigation was according to the crop age. In
district Khanewal, fertilizers were applied four times till
the age of 7.5 weeks, in district Multan same number of
fertilizer applications was made to the 9 weeks age crop
while in Okara district four fertilizer applications were
given to the 9.5 weeks crop age which affected incidence
of maize borer. Four-time pesticide was applied in both
Khanewal and Multan districts while in Okara district
pesticides were applied only two times.
M. Nabeel et al.
3 2 1 Occurrence of Chilo partellus on Maize 321
It is concluded from the present studies that maize
borer is fairly distributed in the major growing districts
of Punjab and warrant strict control measures. Some
cultivars were found free from the borer infestation and
are recommended for cultivation.
Statement of conict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conict of interests
regarding the publication of this article.
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