A First Report of Fall Army Worm (FAW) in Leparada Disrict of Arunachal Pradesh.

Reported by Jitendra Kumar, H Kalita, Ampee Tasung and Nabajyoti Das
ICAR RC for NEH Region AP centre Basar-791101           

Fall army worm (FAW) is a destructive pest native to America recently invaded India and presently causing economic damage in Maize growing regions of India. Recently It has been recorded in some states of Northeast, India. In Arunachal Pradesh FAW has been reported by CHF, CAU in East Siang District but occurrence was below economic threshold damage level. A group of scientist comprised Jitendra Kumar Scientist Soil physics/SWC, H Kalita PS, Entomology, Ampee Tasung Scientist Soil Sciemce and Nabajoti Das Technical, from ICAR RC NEH, Arunachal Pradesh Centre, Basar also confirmed its existence fall army worm in Maize field at Research Farm Gori, ICAR RC for NEH Region AP centre, Basar with a considerable extent of damage on 12th June 2019.  If their existence will continue is seems cause a heavy loss to the maize crop in the Leparada district and extent to the adjoining districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Being a multicrop feeder it can infest other grass crops and vegetable in absence of maize crop. As per history, their existence is most favorable in tropical and sub­tropical climate; there is a potential for the rapid increase in FAW population in Arunachal Pradesh.

The pest, FAW scientifically known as Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) has six level instar which cause economic damage to crops. The 2nd and 3rd insta stage causes elongated papery window in maize leaf. However, at this stage the management is easy with biological and microbial pesticides. As larvae enters 3rd and 4th insta its feeding causes ragged-edge round to oblong holes on the leaves. Damage at this stage needs chemical pesticide application based on the percentage of infestation. The 5th insta larvae feeds voraciously making holes on the leaf and the 6th instar larvae extensively defoliate the leaf and produce large amount of faecal matters. At this stage of damage the best method is poison baiting. Tassel and corn ear are most sensitive to FAW and damage at this stage cannot not be prevented by spraying pesticides and other means Chemical spraying is prohibited at this damage stage because maize corn are usually processed with little cleaning. Therefore, it is important to disseminate awareness on management measures to control the damage from causing economic loss to the farmers of Arunachal Pradesh.

Figure. 6nd insta larvae of Fall army worm feeding on maize crop at Research Farm Gori of ICAR RC for NEH Region, AP centre, Basar
Figure. Damage caused by army worm within two days of infestation at Research Farm Gori of ICAR RC for NEH Region, AP centre, Basar