Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Damage, distribution and natural enemies of invasive fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) under rainfed maize in Karnataka, India.

Abstract

Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), is a polyphagous pest invaded India and seriously threatened maize and other crops. The detailed information on its occurrence and damage severity in the invaded regions are limited. In this study, we assessed the occurrence, incidence and damage severity of fall armyworm in 126 maize fields in 10 districts of Karnataka during the rainfed condition. Further, potential co-occurrence of this pest with native stem borers and its natural enemies explored to tackle this pest. Survey reports revealed that the fall armyworm was well distributed across the maize growing regions of Karnataka with 44-100% field infestation. The damage incidence of S. frugiperda was 22.13-46.83% with damage severity 0 to 4.9 on the 0 to 9 scale. The larval count was 0.93 ± 0.17 to 3.07 ± 0.58 per 10 plants across the locations. The co-occurrence of S. frugiperda with the native maize stem borers, Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) and Sesamia inferens (Walker) was less than 5% of the plants. It shows that S. frugiperda had dominated the native stem borers causing significant damage to maize. This study found five parasitoids parasitizing the egg, egg-larval, larval and larval-pupal stages of S. frugiperda. Trichogramma chilonis Ishii and Telenomus remus Nixon egg parasitism rates were 15.81-23.87% and 5.44-8.78%, respectively. The larval parasitoids caused 9.18% parasitism of S. frugiperda larvae. Trichogramma chilonis appeared as a major natural enemy. These data provide an important baseline for the development of sustainable management strategies for S. frugiperda.