Male moths are smaller and darker than females. The forewings of males are pale brown. The forewings of the females are much paler and the hind wings are almost white. The eggs are laid on the underside of a leaf near the midrib and are flattened and ovoid. The young larvae cause characteristic ‘shot hole’ symptoms on leaf. The larvae have four stripes and crochets on proleg are complete.
Young caterpillars of spotted stem borer feed on the tender leaves of the plants. They later feed at the growing point into the stem. Seriously attacked plants dry-up entirely or partly showing the 'dead heart' symptom. Early attacked plants are stunted in growth and the ears are poorly developed. Stem tunnelling by older caterpillars interferes with transference of nutrients to the grain. Stem borer damage results in plant stunting, lodging, stem breakage, and direct damage to ears. Infestations by stem borers increase the incidence and severity of stalk rots.
Trichogramma chilonis, Cotesia flavipes, Myosoma chinensis, Xanthopimpla stemmator, Tetrastichus howardi, Sturmiopsis inferens and Orius tantillus.