Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Biology, invasion and management of the agricultural invader: fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

Abstract

The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), is native to the Americas. It has rapidly invaded 47 African countries and 18 Asian countries since the first detection of invasion into Nigeria and Ghana in 2016. It is regarded as a super pest based on its host range (at least 353 host plants), its inherent ability to survive in a wide range of habitats, its strong migration ability, high fecundity, rapid development of resistance to insecticides/viruses and its gluttonous characteristics. The inherently superior biological characteristics of FAW contribute to its invasiveness. Integrated pest management (IPM) of FAW has relied on multiple applications of monitoring and scouting, agricultural control, chemical pesticides, viral insecticides, sex attractants, bio-control agents (parasitoids, predators and entomopathogens) and botanicals. Knowledge gaps remain to be filled to: (1) understand the invasive mechanisms of S. frugiperda; (2) understand how to prevent its further spread and (3) provide better management strategies. This review summarizes the biological characters of FAW, their association with its invasiveness and IPM strategies, which may provide further insights for future management.