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Pests > Pests Entities > Insects > Moths & butterflies > Spodoptera species > Maize, Plains de la Ruzizi, South Kivu, DR Congo
March 2017. Pictures taken in DR Congo, Plains de la Ruzizi, South Kivu. Not only is there a disastrous drought and many diseases on rice, cassava and other crops but also these insects. Can you please help me with the identification.
A member gave the following identifications:
WA_0016, WA_0022, SAM_311, SAM_312: probably “snoutmoth”, Lepidoptera: Pyralidae (corn borer Ostrinia belongs to this family, but this may be something else) (3rd row, right)
WA_0011 (double), SAM_0306: some Noctuid moth, not Spodoptera and not known to me as a pest, probably coming from wild vegetation. (4th row, left)
WA_0014 is too much damaged for proper identification
WA_0010, WA_0018, WA_0019, WA_0023: These may well be fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda. (See the EPPO protocol, referred to in an earlier posting on fall armyworm, for characteristics of the species.) (top, right; 2nd row; 3rd row, left)
WA_0028 If this is the damage, it looks serious but may have limited impact on yield. Maize can stand losing a quarter of its foliage without much influence on grain yield, depending on how far the variety has been optimized for partitioning of resources to the cob, whether the growing point has not been damaged and whether foliage above or below the cob is affected. (top, left)
The caterpillars look like Spodptera frugiperda(J.E.Smith) (Noctuidae), although this species which is spreading in Africa, has not been formally confirmed from DR Congo as yet. The Plantwise Knowledge Bank has identification aids and pest management decision guides for this species, including one prepared for Ghana which may be useful: http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank/SearchResults.aspx?q=Spodoptera%20frugiperda
And a third member also agreed:
MG-20170325-WA0011, IMG-20170325-WA0022 left specimen:
Aegocera rectilineaBoisduval (Lep.: Noctuidae). The species is widely spread in tropical Africa and polyphagous including cowpea, groundnut, tomato, cassava, cabbage, maize etc.