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Assessment of Spodoptera frugiperda – likelihood of establishment and host plants relevant in surveys


Background and assignment

Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (fall armyworm) is a moth native to the tropical and subtropical regions of the American continents (Luginbill, 1928). S. frugiperda has recently been found outside of its native range as it was reported in Nigeria in 2016 (Stokstad, 2007). A very rapid increase of the distribution in Africa has been observed and its presence has now been confirmed from 38 countries (EPPO GD, 2018).

S. frugiperda is a polyphagous pest and has been reported to attack plants from more than 20 families (CABI, 2018; Johnson, 1987). However, S. frugiperda has a preference for plants of the family Poaceae and it is most commonly reported on cultivated grasses (maize, rice, sorghum and sugarcane; CABI, 2018). The larvae cause feeding damage to above ground parts of the plant and can completely defoliate them (CABI, 2018).

S. frugiperda is regulated in the EU as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned (Annex IAI in Council Directive 2000/29/EC). Due to the recent range expansion of the pest, COM has proposed to strengthen the measures to prevent its introduction into the EU.

Following the proposal from COM on emergency measures to prevent the introduction into and the spread within the union of S. frugiperda the Swedish Board of Agriculture has requested the Unit for risk assessment of plant pests at SLU to:

1.) Assess the likelihood that S. frugiperda can establish in Sweden and if so, how far north? The assessment should primarily be based on the available literature and documentation. Further studies using CLIMEX, shall only be done after consulting the Swedish Board of Agriculture. 

2.) Assess which host plants (excluding those only present in protected cultivation) that would be relevant to include in possible future surveys.


  • Spodoptera frugiperda


  • Poaceae


Type File Size
Pest Risk Analysis Download 176,72kB

PRA Area

  • Sweden