Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The development of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) fed on leave of different plant species.

Abstract

The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith, 1797) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), has recently become an invasive pest in Taiwan. With its polyphagous nature and broad host range, including more than 353 plant species of 76 families, FAW attracts worldwide attention because it causes significant damage on crops from the family Poaceae. To better understand FAW's adaptation and ecology in Taiwan, we tested its potential host range on Poaceae, non-Poaceae crops, weeds and ornamental plants. We recorded the developmental time of immature stages (larva and pupa), sex ratio, pupation and emergence rates, and pupal weight of FAW fed leaves of 25 plant species from 17 families, under laboratory conditions at 27°C, with 70 ± 5% RH and a 12-h/day photoperiod. Using ANOVA and Tukey's HSD, our results show that FAW can complete its life cycle while feeding on the leaves of Allium fistulosum L. (Family: Amaryllidaceae), Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae), Brassica napus L., B. oleracea var. capitata L., B. rapa chinensis (L.) (Brassicaceae), Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam (Convolvulaceae), Cucumis melo L. (Cucurbitaceae), Arachis hypogaea L., Glycine max (L.) Merr. (Fabaceae), Malpighia emarginata DC. (Malpighiaceae), Musa × paradisiaca L. (Musaceae), Zea mays L. (Poaceae), Prunus persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae), Solanum lycopersicum L., S. melongena L. (Solanaceae) and Zingiber officinale Roscoe (Zingiberaceae). However, only a few individuals became adults from the cultures that fed on Cucumis melo and Prunus persica. We suggest that these two crops might not be suitable hosts for FAW. There were nine plant species from seven families which we interpret as nonhosts of FAW because no larvae fed on them became adults: these were Annona squamosa L. (Annonaceae), Ageratum houstonianum Mill., Bidens pilosa L., Lactuca sativa L. (Asteraceae), Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae), Psidium guajava L. (Myrtaceae), Bambusa ventricosa McClure (Poaceae), Citrofortunella × C. microcarpa (Bunge) Wijnands (Rutaceae) and Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L. Burtt & R.M. Sm. (Zingiberaceae). This study should enrich our understanding of potential hosts and the development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs of FAW in Taiwan.