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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #230679

Title: Monitoring for exotic Spodoptera species (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Florida

item Meagher, Robert - Rob

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/10/2008
Publication Date: 12/1/2008
Citation: Meagher Jr, R.L., Brambila, J., Hung, E. 2008. Monitoring for exotic Spodoptera species (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist. 91:517-522.

Interpretive Summary: Florida is second in the USA in the value of nursery and greenhouse crops, and orchids are the second leading potted flowering plant produced in Florida. Characteristically small plants are brought to Florida, grown to maturity, and then shipped to markets in the USA and Canada. Many of the hundreds of thousands of small plants are imported from locations in Asia where an exotic species of armyworm (Spodoptera litura) is known as a pest. A scientist at the USDA-ARS-CMAVE collaborated with a scientist at USDA-APHIS and an entomologist at a Florida orchid nursery to survey for this species and other exotic Spodoptera species in two locations. Thousands of resident armyworm species were collected but only one S. litura moth was captured. The study was successful in determining how much effort will be involved to find these exotic pest species.

Technical Abstract: Trapping studies were conducted in two Florida locations to determine if three Old World Spodoptera Guenée species were present. Commercially-produced lures for S. exempta (Walker), S. littoralis (Boisduval), and S. litura (F.), plus a S. litura lure made by the USDA-APHIS-CPHST laboratory at Otis ANGB in Massachusetts, were used with plastic Unitraps and placed near two orchid nurseries in Lake and Miami-Dade counties. One S. litura male moth was identified from collections made in April 2007; no other exotic species were found in either location. However, thousands of resident species were collected, including S. albula (Walker) (= S. sunia Guenée), S. androgea (Stoll), S. dolichos (F.), S. eridania (Stoll), S. exigua (Hübner), S. frugiperda (J. E. Smith), S. ornithogalli (Guenée), and S. pulchella (Herrich-Schäffer). This study exposed the amount of labor and level of technical knowledge needed for scientists involved in finding exotic Spodoptera species.