The effect of temperatures and hosts on the life cycle of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).
The interactions between ambient temperatures and host plants are central to the population dynamics of invasive animal species. Despite significant research into the effects of temperatures, the performance of invasive species is also influenced by host plants. The effects of different temperatures (20, 25, and 30°C) and host plants (maize, sorghum, and coix seed) were tested on the mortality, development, reproduction, and population parameters of the fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J E Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), using an age-stage, two-sex life table. The results support the hypothesis that temperature and the species of the host plant significantly influences the performance of FAW. Feeding on maize at 30°C resulted in a lower mortality rate, a shorter developmental time and longevity, a higher fecundity, intrinsic rate of natural increase (r), finite rate of increase (λ), and net reproductive rate (R0). However, at 20°C, the host plant could eliminate temperature-mediated synergism in FAW performance, which did not reach statistical significance at 20°C. Similar results induced by a relatively low temperature (20°C) on different host plants were also found in the age-stage specific survival curves (sxj), fecundity (mx), maternity (lxmx), and reproductive value (vxj) curves of FAW. Consequently, we also need to pay more attention to FAW outbreaks on different host plants mediated by relatively low temperatures.