A Rwandan survey of entomopathogenic nematodes that can potentially be used to control the fall armyworm.
Native to the Americas, fall armyworm (FAW; Spodoptera frugiperda, Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) recently invaded most of Africa and large parts of Asia. Its caterpillars cause tremendous damage to maize. Effective control measures, which do not harm humans or the environment, are needed. We intend to use native, locally well-adapted, entomopathogenic nematodes to control FAW caterpillars. Therefore, we conducted a survey of nematodes in small-holder farming and semi-natural habitats in Rwanda. The survey yielded two nematode isolates, which were molecularly assigned to the Heterorhabditis bacteriophora group, but might represent a new species.