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Seasonal variations of Spodoptera frugiperda host plant diversity and parasitoid complex in southern and central Benin
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Fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith, 1797) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was recorded for the first time in 2016 attacking maize fields in central and west Africa. Soon after, several other regions and countries have reported the pest in almost the entire sub-Saharan Africa. In the present study, we assumed that (i) a variety of alternative plant species host FAW, especially during maize off-season, (ii) a wide range of local parasitoids have adapted to FAW and (iii) parasitoid species composition and abundance vary across seasons. During a two-year survey (from June 2018 to January 2020), parasitoids and alternative host plants were identified from maize and vegetable production sites, along streams and lowlands, on garbage dumps and old maize fields in southern and partly in the central part of Benin during both maize growing- and off-season. A total of eleven new host plant species were reported for the first time, including Cymbopogon citratus (de Candolle) Stapf (cultivated lemon grass), Bulbostylis coleotricha (A. Richard) Clarke and Pennisetum macrourum von Trinius (wild). The survey revealed seven parasitoid species belonging to four families, namely Platygastridae, Braconidae, Ichneumonidae, and Tachinidae associated with FAW on maize and alternative host plants. The most abundant parasitoid species across seasons was the egg parasitoid Telenomus remus (Nixon) (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae). These findings demonstrate FAW capability to be active during the maize off-season in the selected agro-ecologies and provide baseline information for classical and augmentative biocontrol efforts.
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/7997
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