EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 06 - 2017 Num. article: 2017/116

Spodoptera frugiperda continues to spread in Africa

In early 2016, outbreaks of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae – EPPO A1 List) were reported for the first time in Africa where high armyworm populations damaging maize (Zea mays) crops have been noticed (EPPO RS 2016/188, 2017/035). Since these initial reports, other African countries have reported confirmed or suspected outbreaks of S. frugiperda, thus showing that the pest is rapidly spreading. This phytosanitary crisis has prompted coordinated actions by FAO aiming to contain the pest.
  • As of May 2017, the presence of S. frugiperda has been officially confirmed in the following African countries (recent records are indicated in bold): Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tomé e Principe, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  • In addition, S. frugiperda has been detected in Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Niger, and Sierra Leone, but its presence remains to be officially confirmed in these countries.


FAO (2017-05-15) Briefing note on fall armyworm (FAW) in Africa. http://www.fao.org/3/a-bs183e.pdf

IPPC website. Official Pest Reports – Cameroon (CMR-04/6 of 2017-06-02) First report of the fall army worm Spodoptera frugiperda in Cameroon. https://www.ippc.int/en/countries/cameroon/pestreports/2017/06/first-report-of-the-fall-army-worm-spodoptera-frugiperda-in-cameroon/