Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Susceptibility of various developmental stages of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, to entomopathogenic nematodes.

Abstract

The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, which is native to Central and South America, has recently invaded Africa and Asia, causing serious damage to various crops. Although management to date has been largely unsuccessful, entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are a potential biological control agent that could be used to control the late larval and pupal stages of S. frugiperda that dwell under the ground. Here, we compared the virulence of seven EPNs against larval and pupal stages of S. frugiperda. In a Petri dish assay, both Heterorhabditis indica and Steinernema carpocapsae were highly virulent against younger larvae, whereas S. arenarium and S. longicaudum were highly virulent against older larvae. In contrast, H. bacteriophora, Heterorhabditis sp., and S. kushidai showed low virulence against all larval stages. In soil column and pot assays, H. indica, S. carpocapsae, and S. longicaudum were highly virulent against late larval and pupal stages compared with the other EPN species. Thus, H. indica, S. carpocapsae, and S. longicaudum are recommended for the biological control of S. frugiperda. Our study provides important information of EPNs for the practical application of biological control of fall armyworm.