The European Commission requested EFSA to conduct a pest categorisation of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) a pest with hosts in 27 plant families. Favoured hosts include maize, rice and sorghum (Poaceae). Hosts also include crops within the Brassicaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Solanaceae, Rutaceae and other families. S. frugiperda is a taxonomic entity with reliable methods for identification. It is regulated in the EU as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas and migrates to temperate regions in North and South America during the summer. Establishment in temperate areas is prevented by its inability to overwinter. S. frugiperda has been intercepted on plant produce entering the EU. Phytosanitary measures are available to impede entry via traded commodities. In 2016, S. frugiperda was reported damaging maize in Africa. Subsequent reports indicate that it continues to spread severely damaging maize and other crops. If S. frugiperda spreads into north Africa, the likelihood of adults migrating into the temperate EU increases. Within the scope and level of analysis appropriate for pest categorisation, the EFSA Plant Health Panel concludes that S. frugiperda could establish in a small area of the southern EU from where it is likely to enter more northern regions forming transient summer populations, particularly in maize growing regions where impacts on yield could occur. However, uncertainties regarding establishment remain. Considering the criteria within the remit of EFSA to assess as regards status as a potential Union quarantine pest (QP) or as a potential regulated non-quarantine pest (RNQP), S. frugiperda
satisfies the criteria to be regarded a Union QP but does not meet the criteria of (i) occurring in the EU territory, and
(ii) plants for planting being the principal means of spread, criteria required for RNQP status.
- European Union
- fall armyworm
- pest risk
- plant pest