Interactions between host plant resistance and biological control may benefit or hinder pest management efforts. Turfgrass cultivars have rarely been tested for extrinsic resistance characteristics such as occurrence and performance of beneficial arthropods on plant genotypes with resistance to known turf pests. Parasitism of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), among six turfgrass genotypes was evaluated. The six grasses tested [Sea Isle-1 and 561-79 seashore paspalum, Paspalum vaginatum Swartz; TifSport and TifEagle hybrid Bermuda grass, Cynodon dactylon (L.) × C. transvaalensis (Burtt-Davy); and Cavalier and Palisades zoysiagrass, Zoysia japonica von Steudel and Z. matrella (L.) Merrill, respectively] represented a range in resistance to S. frugiperda. Differential recovery of larvae released as first instars reflected this gradient in resistance of Cavalier ≥ Palisades ≥ TifSport = TifEagle ≥ 561- = Sea Isle-1 Larval recovery (percentage of initial number released) was greatest in May, less in July and August, and least in October, probably reflecting the increase in activity of on-site predators and disease pressure. Parasitism of the fall armyworm by the braconid Aleiodes laphygmae Viereck varied among turfgrass genotypes. Parasitism was greatest during July. In total, 20,400 first instars were placed in the field; 2,368 were recovered; 468 parasitoids were subsequently reared; 92.2% were A. laphygmae. In the field, the greatest percentage of reduction in S. frugiperda larvae by A. laphygmae occurred on the armyworm-susceptible seashore paspalums (51.9% on Sea Isle-1 in July). Cotesia marginiventris Cresson and Meteorus sp. also were reared from collected larvae. No parasitoids were reared from larvae collected from resistant Cavalier zoysiagrass. A. laphygmae and C. marginiventris were reared from larvae collected from the other five grass cultivars. No parasitoids of older larvae or pupae were observed.
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Vol. 97 • No. 6