Development, survival and reproduction of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) fed an artificial diet or on cotton, castor bean and corn leaves.
The polyphagy of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) renders its control difficult because variations in the phenology of host plants grown in different seasons of the year and near each other can facilitate the movement of this pest between crops. The objective of this work was to examine certain biological characteristics of S. frugiperda fed on an artificial diet or on cotton, castor bean, or corn leaves. The experimental design was in randomized blocks, with four treatments represented by S. frugiperda caterpillars fed an artificial diet (T1) or pieces of cotton (T2), castor bean (T3) or corn (T4) leaves with five replications (five caterpillars per replication). The duration and survival of the egg, larva, pre-pupa, pupa and egg-adult period and the reproductive characteristics of this insect were determined. The survival, development and reproduction data of S. frugiperda originated from individuals reared with cotton and castor bean leaves were lower than those fed on corn leaves or an artificial diet. The number of nonviable eggs laid by females originated from caterpillars fed on castor bean leaves was higher than those fed on cotton and corn leaves or an artificial diet. The very higher number of unviable S. frugiperda eggs resulting from castor leaves can reduce outbreaks of this pest in cotton and corn crops after the cultivation of that plant, or by intercropping with this plant, in the main producing regions of Brazil.