Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) females can detect the sex pheromone emitted by conspecific females.

Abstract

The sex pheromones emitted by Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) females attract males for copulation, but no studies to date have investigated if conspecific females also are attracted. Here, the attraction of females of S. frugiperda to their sex pheromone in flight tunnel laboratory bioassays and field trapping is reported. Genitalia of females and males captured in the field were dissected for taxonomic identification and studied with an environmental scanning electron microscope to know the mating status of the females. In wind tunnel attraction bioassays, virgin females flew upwind and landed on the stimulus, likewise the males, whereas mated females, although they headed for the stimulus, showed fewer landings. The sex ratio of captured insects in the field was 1 female to 4 males. The presence of spermatophores allowed the separation of mated and virgin females using the genitalia; both were found in the traps throughout the sampling period. This study demonstrated that S. frugiperda females autodetect their sex pheromone, and its implications on the management strategy for these moths are discussed.