Invasive insects in 18 Chinese provinces come from Florida

China Plus Published: 2019-06-18 10:50:31
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Spodoptera frugiperda, an insect that has invaded 18 provinces mainly in southern and central China, has been proven to have originated in Florida, said Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

A researcher holds a spodoptera frugiperda sample. [Photo:]

A researcher holds a spodoptera frugiperda sample. [Photo:]

The Academy made the conclusion after researching 318 samples from 13 provinces.

The lepidopteran pest feeds in large numbers on the leaves and stems of more than 80 plant species, causing major damage to economically important cultivated grasses such as maize, rice, sorghum and sugarcane, but also other vegetable crops and cotton.

The species appeared only in the tropics and subtropics of the American continent before 2016. It spread to Africa after then and quickly migrated to the Middle East and South Asia due to its strong reproduction ability. The pest reached China in January this year.

The research for its origin, feeding habit, drug resistance and migration habits help in finding effective measures to prevent it, said Xiao Yutao, researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

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