Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Parasitoid distribution and parasitism of the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in different maize producing regions of Uganda.

Abstract

The fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) has successfully invaded Africa, where it has significantly impacted maize and sorghum production. Management of FAW in Africa predominantly relies on synthetic insecticides, which are expensive, and negatively impact the environment and beneficial insects. We, therefore, conducted field surveys in Uganda in 2017 and 2019 to identify egg and larval parasitoids of FAW for possible use in integrated pest management (IPM) programs. Parasitoids were identified by their mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (mtCOI) gene sequences. We identified 13 parasitoid species belonging to three families of Hymenoptera: Platygastridae, Braconidae and Ichneumonidae, as well as one Dipteran family (Tachinidae). Coccygidium spp. and Chelonus bifoveolatus were the most abundant and widely distributed parasitoids. Overall, parasitism averaged 9.2% and ranged from 3.1% to 50% in 2017, and 0.8% to 33% in 2019. Parasitism by Sturmiopsis parasitica, Diolcogaster sp., and Cotesia flavipes on FAW in maize crops are reported for the first time. Our results suggest high biological diversity of FAW parasitoids, which should be exploited in the IPM of the FAW in Uganda.