Studies on new invasive pest Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and its natural enemies.
Occurrence of Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), commonly known as fall armyworm, in southern India is reported along with associated natural enemies. Severe damage was noticed in Chikkaballapur, Hassan, Shivamogga, Davanagere and Chitradurga during July-August 2018. The incidence ranged from 9.0 to 62.5 percent at various locations, maximum incidence was recorded in Hassan district followed by Chikkaballapur, Davanagere, Shivamogga and Chitradurga. Morphology and molecular based taxonomic tools were used for the identification of this pest. The GenBank accession number MH704433 of Chikkaballapur population was released on 1st August, 2018 and Barcode obtained from BOLD System-ID: AGIMP054-18. The survey also revealed natural parasitism by egg parasitoids viz., Telenomus sp. (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) and Trichogramma sp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), gregarious larval parasitoid, Glyptapanteles creatonoti (Viereck) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) solitary larval parasitoid, Campoletis chlorideae Uchida (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), and a solitary indeterminate larval-pupal (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Ichneumoninae) parasitoid. Spodoptera frugiperda is the first host record for G. creatonoti across the globe. Glyptapanteles creatonoti, being a well established parasitoid of various noctuids in India and Malaysia, was capable of parasitizing S. frugiperda. Besides these, other commonly found bioagents viz., Forficula sp. (Dermaptera: Forficulidae) and entomopathogenic fungus Nomuraea rileyi (Farl.) Samson was also collected in large numbers. We report the natural enemy complex of S. frugiperda for the first time from India. The electro physiological response of Indian population of S. frugiperda male adults to pheromone was established. The studies to manage this pest by any/all means are in progress.