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Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda Infestations in East Africa: Assessment of Damage and Parasitism

1
Plant Health Theme, International Center of Insect Physiology & Ecology (ICIPE), P.O. Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2
School of Pant Sciences, Haramaya University, P.O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
3
Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre, P.O. Box 436, Adama, Ethiopia
4
Plant Health Theme, International Center of Insect Physiology & Ecology (ICIPE), P.O. Box 30772-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
5
Department of Horticulture & Plant Sciences, Jimma University College of Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 307, Jimma, Ethiopia
6
Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization, P.O. Box 5781, Nairobi, Kenya
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this paper.
Insects 2019, 10(7), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10070195
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 22 June 2019 / Published: 3 July 2019
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Abstract

The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, threatens maize production in Africa. A survey was conducted to determine the distribution of FAW and its natural enemies and damage severity in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania in 2017 and 2018. A total of 287 smallholder maize farms (holding smaller than 2 hectares of land) were randomly selected and surveyed. FAW is widely distributed in the three countries and the percent of infested maize fields ranged from 33% to 100% in Ethiopia, 93% to 100% in Tanzania and 100% in Kenya in 2017, whereas they ranged from 80% to 100% and 82.2% to 100% in Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively, in 2018. The percent of FAW infestation of plants in the surveyed fields ranged from 5% to 100%. In 2017, the leaf damage score of the average of the fields ranged from 1.8 to 7 (9 = highest level of damage), while 2018, it ranged from 1.9 to 6.8. In 2017, five different species of parasitoids were recovered from FAW eggs and larvae. Cotesia icipe (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) was the main parasitoid recorded in Ethiopia, with a percent parasitism rate of 37.6%. Chelonus curvimaculatus Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) was the only egg-larval parasitoid recorded in Kenya and had a 4.8% parasitism rate. In 2018, six species of egg and larval parasitoids were recovered with C. icipe being the dominant larval parasitoid, with percentage parasitism ranging from 16% to 42% in the three surveyed countries. In Kenya, Telenomus remus (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) was the dominant egg parasitoid, causing up to 69.3% egg parasitism as compared to only 4% by C. curvimaculatus. Although FAW has rapidly spread throughout these three countries, we were encouraged to see a reasonable level of biological control in place. Augmentative biological control can be implemented to suppress FAW in East Africa. View Full-Text
Keywords: fall armyworm; Telenomus remus; Cotesia icipe; local parasitoid; maize fall armyworm; Telenomus remus; Cotesia icipe; local parasitoid; maize
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Sisay, B.; Simiyu, J.; Mendesil, E.; Likhayo, P.; Ayalew, G.; Mohamed, S.; Subramanian, S.; Tefera, T. Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda Infestations in East Africa: Assessment of Damage and Parasitism. Insects 2019, 10, 195.

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