Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Natural enemies of the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Burkina Faso.

Abstract

The fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a voracious pest that preferentially feeds on cereals and other crops of economic importance. Native to America, it has recently invaded sub-Saharan African countries where it is currently threatening food security. There is limited knowledge of the natural enemies of the fall armyworm in Africa. In this study, we aimed to identify arthropods, fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes that naturally control this pest in Burkina Faso. Insect samplings, including larvae and egg masses, were conducted in 47 maize farms from October 2019 to November 2020. About 20 species of parasitoids, predators and entomopathogenic fungus associated with the fall armyworm were identified. The overall parasitism rate was 10.5%. Nematodes (Mermithidae) were the most frequent parasites (73.2% of the parasitized larvae). Identified parasitoids included Hymenopterans [Coccygidium luteum (Brullé), Chelonus bifoveolatus (Szépligeti)] and Dipterans (Drino sp.). Predators included Areneae and insects belonging to the following families: Carabidae (Calleida sp.), Coccinellidae [Cheilomenes sulphurea (Olivier)], Forficulidae [Diaperasticus erythrocephalus (Olivier), Forficula senegalensis (Serville)], Formicidae [Pheidole megacephala (Fabricius) and others], Mantidae, Pentatomidae and Reduviidae (Rhynocoris sp.). The most abundant predators were members of the Forficulidae (51%), Formicidae (15%) and Coccinellidae (13%). We advocate for the development of conservation biological control since this approach can be simple and cost-effective to control this pest.