Dispersal of Larvae of Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda in Maize
Keywords:Spodoptera frugiperda, Zea mays, behaviour, larval dispersal, movement, infestation, mean distance, management, sampling, non-directional movement, cages, field, directional movement
A comprehensive understanding of the pattern of larval dispersal is important to establish the criteria for sampling, statistical analysis and the development of reliable and sustainable management strategies. The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J E Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a notorious pest of maize all over the world was reported from the Indian subcontinent in 2018. The present study assessed plant-to-plant dispersal pattern of larvae of S. frugiperda in caged field conditions of maize. The mean distance travelled by the larvae after infestation ranged from 0.36± 0.36 to 1.05± 0.18 m. The maximum distance travelled by the larvae was up to 1.50 m. There was no significant difference between the number of larvae recovered concerning the direction (n-s) within the row. The distances covered by them in both directions were not significantly different either. The larval dispersal pattern suggested non-directional movement of the caterpillars.
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