Larval establishment and feeding site selection of Eldana saccharina Walker were studied on maize (Katumani Composite B) and sorghum (Serena). These parameters were defined as the location within the plant of the larva 7 days after hatching; and feeding activity was measured by the extent of stalk tunnelling. In naturally infested maize, more larvae settled in the basal section of the plants between second and fifth node/internode, and in sorghum they settled between fourth and seventh node/internode. In the artificially infested plants of both crops, larvae settled in the middle section of the plant mainly between fourth and seventh node/internode. The neonate larvae first settled in the leaf sheath until they were third instars when they entered the stalks. However, in sorghum stalk entry was limited by stalk wall toughness and waxes on the stalks.
The extent of stalk tunnelling indicated that in maize larval feeding is highest in the internodes whereas in sorghum it is in the peduncles.