Natural enemies of Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a recent invasive pest on maize in south India.
Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is a pest recently invading maize in India. Studies were conducted in southern India from Jun to Aug 2018 to identify and assess the abundance of natural enemies attacking S. frugiperda. In total, 5 species of larval parasitoids, 3 predators, and 1 entomopathogen were found attacking larvae of S. frugiperda. The larval parasitoids were Coccygidium melleum, Campoletis chlorideae, Eriborus sp., Exorista sorbillans, and Odontepyris sp. Three predators, Forficula sp., Harmonia octomaculata, and Coccinella transversalis, and 1 entomofungal pathogen, Nomuraea rileyi, were recorded. The average parasitism caused by C. chlorideae was found to be 2 to 3%, whereas the remaining parasitoids showed negligible parasitism. Nomuraea rileyi recorded 10 to 15% larval infection in Aug. Three parasitoids, Coccygidium melleum, Eriborus sp., and Odontepyris sp., were reported for the first time attacking S. frugiperda. Efforts should be undertaken to identify more natural enemies and to preserve the existing ones, through ecofriendly practices and judicial use of pesticides, allowing them to function effectively.