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fall armyworm on maize

closeup of fall armyworm larva nestled in curled part of corn (maize) leaf blade, with brown crumb-like material surrounding it

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is native to the Americas, but in the past six years has become invasive to Africa, Asia, and Australia. Because the species causes large amounts of crop damage, knowledge of which plants are preferred by fall armyworms will be invaluable for control strategies. To examine host preference, researchers at the University of Queensland tested egg laying and larval performance of fall armyworm on five crop species in Australia. They found that fall armyworm showed a pronounced preference for maize and concluded that maize and sorghum are host plants for the fall armyworm, whereas pigeon pea, peanut, and cotton are only food plants. (Photo by Trevor Volp)

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