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Occurrence of natural enemies of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Nigeria.

ABSTRACT: Fall armyworm (FAW; Spodoptera frugiperda), an exotic moth which recently invaded Africa, is a highly destructive pest of cereals especially maize a highly valued staple crop in Nigeria. The use of natural enemies such as predators or parasitoids for FAW control is more economically viable and environmentally safer than currently recommended synthetic insecticides. Natural enemies to combat the pest have not yet been reported in Nigeria. An exploration for the pests' natural enemies was undertaken by collecting FAW eggs and larvae from maize fields. These were reared in the laboratory for emergence, identification and efficacy as natural enemies. This yielded Euplectrus laphygmae (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae); Telenomus remus (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) and Trombidium sp. (Acari.: Trombidiidae). Cotesia or Apanteles spp. were inferred to occur since Stictopisthus sp. (Hym.: Ichneumonidae), a secondary parasitoid, that attacks cocoons of Microgasterinae (e.g. Cotesia, Apanteles etc.) also emerged. Species of yet-to-be identified predators were also observed in various niches of maize plants. A positive relationship was found between FAW instar and the number of E. laphygmae eggs/instar ranging, on average, from 1.5 on second instar to 5.5 on fourth instars hosts. Parasitism rate of T. remus on FAW eggs was 100%. Parasitic mite infestation resulted in increasing paleness, reduced feeding, growth and movement as well as death of FAW 1st instars. Thus, the occurrence of FAW natural enemies in Nigeria calls for advocacy campaign to incorporate their use into integrated pest management strategies that attract and allow natural enemies to thrive for FAW management.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8274871 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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