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Opinion on the possibilities for entry and establishment of Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) in Republic of Bulgaria and the possible consequences for maize production


СТАНОВИЩЕ относно възможностите за навлизане и установяване на Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) в Р. България и вероятните последствия за производството на царевица

In Bulgaria, with English abstract

The plant pest Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Lepidoptera: Spodoptera) originates from the tropic and subtropic areas of the western hemisphere and is one of the most important pests on Zea mays (maize). In 2016, it was reported by Africa for the first time outside its natural area and in two years it has spread to more than 30 countries on the African continent. As of 28 September 2020, Spodoptera frugiperda has been reported by 110 countries on five continents, where it has caused significant damage mainly to maize, although it is a polyphagous and harms a large number of hosts - cultural and ornamental species, many of which are economically important. Maize, which is the preferred host of Spodoptera frugiperda is the main agricultural crop in Bulgaria. The main path of entry in which the species could enter the country is through the import of fruits of vegetables from host plants, corn, cut flowers and through planting material from ornamental plants. This pest is not currently present in the European Union (EU), but if it enters Europe it has the potential to settle in some of the southernmost parts of Spain, Italy, Greece and possibly in Portugal, where climatic factors and the presence of host plants are appropriate for the establishment and development of four generations per year. If the enemy settles in Greece, it could enter Bulgaria naturally through the migration of adult insects, which have a strong flight capacity.

From the forecast of the climatic model CLIMEX for pest detection in Europe, with a minimum threshold for the development of Spodoptera frugiperda of 12 ° C, Bulgaria falls into an area with unsuitable ecoclimatic conditions for establishment, i.e. in case of possible penetration into the country, the risk of establishment of Spodoptera frugiperda is low, because at temperatures bellow zero, all stages of its development die. If however, the pest enters and spreads through the trade and movement of host plants and plant products, or through the flight of adult insects, it could develop 1-2 transitional summer populations. These populations could have a negative impact on both the production (causing significant yield losses) and the consumption of domestic corn products (infested cobs have deteriorated grain quality and reduced cost) and on the financial condition of farmers and Bulgarian agriculture.

If Spodoptera frugiperda is introduced in Bulgaria and becomes a pest on maize, integrated pest management systems could be applied for its control or permitted insecticides in the country for the control of existing maize pests - Ostrinia nubilalis Hb, Helicoverpa armigera Hubner, Tanymecus dilaticollis and Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte.

Since the official survey conducted in 2019 on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria for the quarantine pest Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith), the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA) announced the status of the pest - absent, confirmed by inspection.


  • Spodoptera frugiperda


Type File Size
Pest Risk Analysis Download 2,78MB

PRA Area

  • Bulgaria