First record of a parasitoid, Megaselia (M) scalaris (Diptera: Phoridae) of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) from India.
The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), has become a major threat in maize cultivation since its invasion to India in 2018. The humpbacked fly, Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (Diptera: Phoridae), was recorded as a laboratory parasitoid of FAW, for the first time in India. Initially, 30-40 maggots of M. (M) scalaris emerged out from the dead pre-pupa and pupa of laboratory-reared FAW. The fly laid up to 15 eggs on the outer surface of 6th instar larva or pre-pupa of the FAW. The incubation period was 1-2 days. The fly had 3 larval instars which lasted 3-4 days and a pupal period of 10-11 days. The adults survived for 6-7 days.