Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Comparative performance of the fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) reared on various cereal-based artificial diets.

Abstract

The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae), is a polyphagous and highly destructive agricultural pest that invaded mainland China in 2019. To facilitate research on this pest, it is important to formulate and formalize a suitable artificial diet based on local ingredients. In this study, the life histories of fall armyworm reared on corn leaves and four artificial diets were recorded. The four artificial diets used were: soybean and sucrose-based (SS), soybean and wheat germ-based (SW), chickpea and wheat germ-based (CPW), and corn and soybean-based (CNS). The intrinsic rates of increase were 0.1957, 0.1981, 0.1816, 0.1748, and 0.1464 per day in the fall armyworm populations fed corn leaves, CNS, SW, CPW, and SS, respectively. The highest fecundity (F = 1225.4 eggs per female) and net reproduction rate (R0 = 544.7 offspring per individual) were observed for the fall armyworm reared on the CNS diet. Moreover, the developmental rate, survival rate, and fecundity were used to calculate the projection of the population growth. Projection results showed that the fall armyworm populations can increase considerably faster when fed the CNS diet compared with the other diets. In addition, the mass-rearing system showed that the most efficient and economical strategy would be to rear the fall armyworm on the CNS diet. The results indicated that the CNS diet was the most suitable diet for the fall armyworm mass rearing.