Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Diversity of insect pests damaging quality of "Huitlacoche" (corn smut) at Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.

Abstract

Huitlacoche or corn smut, Ustilago maydis (DC.) Corda, is a biotrophic fungal pathogenic. The scales that grow in ears of maize, Zea mays L., are used as fresh or raw vegetables. In some regions of Mexico, maize is planted to harvest "huitlacoche", a crop also susceptible to attack by insect pests that affect its quality. The purpose of this study was to recognize entomofauna in maize ears infected with huitlacoche (corn smut) and identify pest species that attack huitlacoche in five maize hybrids. We collected a total of 515 specimens in four orders, seven families, and 11 species. The orders Coleoptera and Lepidoptera comprised 71.4% of the total number of families, 81.8% of the species, and 99.6% of individuals. The percentage of damaged ears ranged from 47.5 to 65.0%. Species best represented were Cotinis mutabilis (Gory and Percheron), Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), Heliothis virescens (Fabricius), and Carpophilus lugubris Murray considered primary pest of huitlacoche because they were present in all maize studied. Shannon-Wiener diversity (0.592 bits per individual) and Simpson (0.302 bits per individual) indices showed less diversity of individuals and moderate species dominance. Greatest richness of species was in hybrids 'AN388' and 'H-318', each with seven.