Two strains of fall armyworm exist that have significant physiological and behavioral differences but are morphologically identical. Remarkably little is known about whether and to what degree interstrain matings occur in the wild, information essential for the effective control of this pest. Interstrain crosses were performed that genetically mapped a strain-specific genetic element (FR clusters) to the sex chromosomes. The FR sequence and a strain-specific mitochondrial marker were used to examine the distribution of different marker combinations in field-isolated specimens. A significant fraction of the wild population was found to carry a hybrid marker combination consistent with the frequent mating of rice strain females to corn strain males. In contrast, the marker configuration indicative of the reciprocal cross was not found, suggesting that interstrain mating occurs primarily in one direction.
Species 1: Lepidoptera Noctuidae Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm)
Keywords: host strains, mating behavior
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