Field infestation and density of Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in maize farms, central Ethiopia

Abstract : Spodoptera frugiperda is a destructive and euryphagous insect pest, causing significant damage to maize production. This study aims to evaluate the extent, density and severity of S. frugiperda infestation in maize farms, central Ethiopia. To conduct this study, six districts selected based on S. frugiperda reports. In June and July of 2022, 299 maize farms examined. Within each farm, five plots in a 'W' plot design pattern selected to examine 50 maize plants. The findings of this investigation revealed a high prevalence of S. frugiperda in all areas examined, with infestation rates in farms ranging from 26 to 100%. Maize plants infestation rates ranging from 3.11 to 55.04%. The larval density per maize plants ranged from 0.04 to 0.91, and the severity of damage ranged from 1.18 to 4.47 on a scale of 1-9. It is worth noting that these rates were consistently higher in July compared to June. Regardless of the stages of growth of the maize, the pest infested and damaged the maize plants. However, the infestation rate, larval density, and severity level of S. frugiperda differed significantly between the early and late stages of the whorl. The insights provided by this study will greatly assist decision-making processes when formulating an appropriate and cost-effective integrated management plan to combat this pervasive pest.
Keyword : Early whorl, fall armyworm, infestation rate, late whorl, pest density
Author(s) : Degaga, A. H., Degaga, E. G.
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Published Issue : 2024 Vol. 19 Number 2

2024 Vol. 19 Number 2