Photoregime affects development, reproduction, and flight performance of the invasive fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in China.
The migratory fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith), has become a worldwide agricultural pest. In this study, the effects of photoregime on the development, reproduction, and flight performance of fall armyworm were assessed based on two-sex life tables, ovarian and testis anatomy, and flight mill tests. The results indicated that photoregime had a significant effect on developmental duration of fall armyworm individuals, pupal survival and emergence, and adult fecundity. Among seven photoregimes tested, the 16:8 (L:D) h photoregime was the most suitable for fall armyworm fitness with the shortest pre-oviposition period and mean generation period (T), highest mating frequency and mating rate of female moths, largest intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm) and finite rate of increase (λ), and highest net reproduction rate (R0). Population growth for seven different photoregimes in decreasing order was 16:8 (L:D) h > 8:16 (L:D) h > 12:12 (L:D) h > 10:14 (L:D) h > 14:10 (L:D) h > 0:24 (L:D) h > 24:0 (L:D) h. The ovarian development level, mating frequency, and testis size did not significantly differ between long (16:8 (L:D) h) and short (10:14 (L:D) h) illumination. Photoregime had a significant effect on mass loss during flight of adults, but not on flight velocity, flight duration, and flight distance. These findings can be used to refine laboratory rearing protocols, accurately predict seasonal changes in population dynamics and should help improve regional forecasts and management of the fall armyworm.