1985 Fall Armyworm Symposium: Biological Control: Incidence and Host Range of a New Ascovirus Isolated from Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera Frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

J. J. Hamm, S. D. Pair, O. G. Marti Jr.


A new virus disease caused by an ascovirus was found in larvae of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), collected in south Florida and Georgia. The host range of the ascovirus from S. frugiperda was compared to ascoviruses from Trichoplusia ni (Hubner), Autographa precationis (Gn.), Heliothis zea (Boddie), and H. virescens (F.) by hemocoelic inoculation of the following species, S. frugiperda, S. exigua (Hubner), S. eridania (Cramer), S. ornithogalli, (Guenee), Heliothis zea (Boddie), and Feltia subterranea (F.). The ascovirus from S. frugiperda infected only the four species of Spodoptera. The ascoviruses from T. ni, H. zea, and H. virescens infected all of the species tested. The ascovirus from A. precationis infected S. frugiperda, S. exigua, S. ornithogalli, and F. subterranea but not S. eridania or H. zea. Eleven passages per os in fall armyworm failed to produce a persistently high rate of infection by this route. Moths from the surviving larvae in the eleventh passage per os did not transmit the ascovirus to their progeny.

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