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Larval Abundance and Level of Infestation of Fall Armyworms, Spodoptera frugiperda J. E. Smith on Maize in Edo State, Nigeria

M. E. Omoregie,
D. A. Enobakhare
K. E. Law-Ogbomo
A. O. Omoregie


The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) invaded many parts of Nigeria including Edo State in 2016, causing substantial damage to maize. Since its observation in the State, no quantitative information on the pest is available. This study was therefore carried out to provide some baseline information on the abundance and infestation rate of FAW on maize in Edo State. Sampling for larval abundance and infestation level on maize farms was done in the early and late maize cropping season of 2019 in Edo South, Edo Central, and Edo North agro-ecological zones (AEZs) of the state. Data was analysed using one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Pearson correlation. Results showed that in the early season, mean larval abundance ranged from 5.83±3.76 in Edo Central to 8.25±3.45 in Edo South and mean percentage infestation ranged from 49.17±23.96% in Edo Central to 66.67±8.76% in Edo North while in the late maize cropping season, mean larval abundance and mean percentage infestation was 1.00±1.41 and 10.00±11.55% in Edo Central and 2.50±3.39 and 16.67±20.90% in Edo South respectively.  These values were not significantly different (0.05) in the three AEZs but were significantly different (P˂0.001) in the early and late cropping seasons. There was a positive correlation between larval abundance and percentage infestation.  FAW was present wherever maize was grown in the three AEZs of the State, and infestations were more in the early season which is the main cropping season for maize in Edo State.