Five treatments were used to exclude naturally occurring predators and parasitoids, based on body size and flight ability, to assess their effect on Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) populations on corn plants. Two initial O. nubilalis egg densities (one egg mass and three egg masses per plant) were assigned to each treatment. Egg predation was higher in uncaged treatments than in caged treatments. Flying insect predators, primarily Coleomegilla maculata DeGeer (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), reduced egg densities by 50%. Thirty-five to 84% of O. nubilalis larvae were infected with Nosema pyrausta (Paillot) (Microspora: Nosematidae). The incidence of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes), ranged from 0 to 21%, whereas larval parasitism, mainly by Macrocentrus cingulum Reinhard (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) ranged from 0 to 31%. In contrast to previous studies, this 3-yr field study documents that egg predation and larval infections of O. nubilalis were significant and consistent biotic mortality factors.
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Vol. 94 • No. 3