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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

armyworm (Spodoptera mauritia acronyctoides)

Host plants / species affected
Brassicaceae (cruciferous crops)
Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass)
Cyperaceae (Sedges)
Cyperus (flatsedge)
Cyperus rotundus (purple nutsedge)
Digitaria decumbens (pangolagrass)
Echinochloa colona (junglerice)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Echinochloa glabrescens
Eleusine coracana (finger millet)
Elymus repens (quackgrass)
Fimbristylis acuminata (Pointed fimbristylis)
Hordeum vulgare (barley)
Isachne globosa (Swamp millet)
Leptochloa chinensis (Chinese sprangletop)
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)
Oryza sativa (rice)
Paspalum conjugatum (sour paspalum)
Paspalum scrobiculatum (ricegrass paspalum)
Pennisetum clandestinum (Kikuyu grass)
Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet)
Poaceae (grasses)
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)
Triticum (wheat)
Vigna (cowpea)
Vigna unguiculata (cowpea)
Zea mays (maize)
List of symptoms/signs
Growing point  -  external feeding
Leaves  -  external feeding
Stems  -  external feeding
Symptoms
Plants attacked by S. mauritia acronyctoides have skeletonized leaves: some leaves have holes. Whole leaves and even entire young plants can be devoured. Larval feeding may also result in the removal of large areas, either from leaf tips or along the margins. Stems may also be cut off at the base.
Prevention and control

Host-Plant Resistance

In 1983, Wilde and Apostol screened entries consisting of wild rice groups I and II varieties, IR varieties and US varieties at IRRI, Philippines. Their studies indicated that the methods tested for screening rice for resistance at the seedling and booting stages could be used to study rice resistance to armyworms. They found that the resistant varieties in the seedling stage were those belonging to the wild rice groups, especially group II. The rate of development on some of the group II resistant material suggested that there may be some antibiosis involved (Wilde and Apostol, 1983).

Soejitno and Van Vreden (1974) also conducted varietal screening for rice resistance to S. mauritia in Indonesia. Of the 462 varieties screened, only two, Tambrek and Jawa Seryt, exhibited some resistance.

Cultural Control

Seedbeds should be established in sites far from large areas of weeds and grasses to avoid armyworm migration from alternate hosts (Reissig et al., 1986). All the weeds from areas outside the fields should be removed. All fallow land should be ploughed.

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


Impact
Sudden outbreaks of S. mauritia acronyctoides can result in serious damage, sometimes with the loss of the entire paddy crop. Few major outbreaks have been recorded in equatorial South-East Asia (Rothschild, 1969). For example, in Malaysia, small outbreaks of less than 200 acres have been reported in Sabah, but in 1967, a scattered outbreak developed in Sarawak over 6,000 square miles. An estimated 25,000 acres of rice were affected. According to Dale (1994), this insect is a sporadic pest causing up to 20% loss in rice yield.

In Indonesia, nurseries near marshy areas are usually attacked before those near dry grounds (Kalshoven, 1981). The damage can be so serious that re-sowing of nurseries is necessary, with resultant delays in transplanting.

In the Philippines, the pest is highly polyphagous and can cause severe damage to rice plants in nursery beds (Wilde and Apostol, 1983).

In Sri Lanka, the first outbreak of S. mauritia acronyctoides took place in 1904, where it caused great damage to the paddy crop in Jaffna. This was followed by smaller outbreaks in the vicinity of the other cities of Sri Lanka (Henry, 1919-1920).
Related treatment support
Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
CABI; CABI, 2018, English language
Saeed, M.; Ahmad, F.; Hussain, F.; Iqbal, M. F.; CABI, 2014, English language
Son La; CABI, 2013, English language
Saeed, M.; Hussain, F.; Batool, M.; CABI, 2013, Urdu language
Saeed, M.; Hussain, F.; Batool, M.; CABI, 2013, English language
 
Pest Management Decision Guides
Guo, D.; Cheng, L. L.; CABI, 2016, English language
Guo, D.; Cheng, L. L.; CABI, 2016, Chinese language
Cambodia, General Directorate of Agriculture; CABI, 2014, Cambodian language
Otipa M.; Kasina M.; Mulaa M.; Kamau R.; Karanja T.; Mwangi D.; Heya H.; CABI, 2017, English language
 
External factsheets
IRRI Factsheets, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), English language
NIPI IPM guidelines, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2014, English language
CIMMYT Plant Pest and Disease Factsheets, Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT) (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center), English language
Plantwise Fall Armyworm Poster, CABI, 2017, Malagasy language
Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia Farmnotes, Government of Western Australia, 1984, English language
Video factsheets
CABI fall armyworm videos, CABI, 2017, Twi language
CABI fall armyworm videos, CABI, 2017, Twi language
Access Agriculture fall armyworm videos, Access Agriculture, English language
Access Agriculture fall armyworm videos, Access Agriculture, French language
CABI fall armyworm videos, CABI, 2017, Twi language
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