EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 03 - 2021 Num. article: 2021/053

First report of Spodoptera frugiperda in the Canary Islands, Spain

During faunistic studies, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae – EPPO A1 List) was detected for the first time on the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) in July 2020. In these studies, 2 male specimens were caught in pheromone traps (Vives Moreno and Gastón, 2020).

Following this initial discovery, the Regional Plant Health Service of Canary Islands carried out surveys on all the islands of the archipelago (Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera). As of February 2021, S. frugiperda was detected in all islands, but with a restricted distribution and only in maize (Zea mays) fields without causing damage to the plants. It is noted that in the Canary Islands, maize is used for self-consumption, mostly fresh, and is not exported. There have been no detections of the pest in other potential hosts (e.g. capsicum, pelargonium and Dianthus) despite intensive surveys with delta traps and two types of pheromones. It is hypothezised that S. frugiperda has been introduced into the Canary Islands from the African continent by the strong winds (more than 100 km/h) which occurred at the end of March 2020 and affected all the islands. Since S. frugiperda has been detected, emergency measures in accordance with the EU Decision 2018/638 are being applied.

The situation of Spodoptera frugiperda in Spain can be described as follows: Present, only in the Canary Islands, under official control.


NPPO of Spain (2021-03).

Vives Moreno A, Gastón J (2020) [Five new species for the fauna of Spain and other interesting lepidopterological information for Spain and Sudan (Insecta: Lepidoptera)]. SHILAP Revista de lepidopterología 48(192), 717-731 (in Spanish).