Effect of cold acclimation and rapid cold-hardening on the survival of Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) under cold stress.
Spodoptera frugiperda is a highly invasive pest species that recently invaded Africa and Asia causing severe economic losses, primarily related to corn and rice crops. Temperature is one of the most important environmental factors that influence the invasion of pests into new habitats. However, little is known regarding the thermal tolerance characteristics of invasive S. frugiperda. Thus, we investigated the response of four developmental stages of S. frugiperda (i.e., eggs, third and sixth instar larvae, and pupae) to cold acclimation (CA) and rapid cold-hardening (RCH). All individuals suffered high mortality with 24-h temperature treatments at <-5°C and >35°C. The CA treatment significantly increased the survival rate of the eggs and third instar larvae, although it did not affect the sixth instar larvae and it decreased the pupation rate. The RCH treatment at 5°C for 5 h or 2°C for 2 h increased the cold tolerance capabilities of the third and sixth instar larvae, respectively. Thus, the larval stage appears to be crucial for the cold tolerance of S. frugiperda. Our findings improve the current understanding of the cold tolerance characteristics of S. frugiperda and indicate its potential for survival in the newly invaded temperate regions of Asia.