Rainfall records for 23 years at 21 selected stations in Kenya were summarized and compared with the numbers of outbreaks of armyworm Spodoptera exempta (Walker) reported in the following season. The numbers of outbreaks were found to be negatively correlated with the rainfall of the 6–8 months preceding the start of the season. Stations in south-eastern Kenya, including the coastal belt which harbours the most extensive off-season source populations of S. exempta, were identified as key stations for forecasting whether to anticipate local or countrywide armyworm outbreaks next season. A scheme is suggested that would enable a provisional forecast to be made as soon as the long rains (April–May) rainfall records were available, and confirmed or revised subsequently in the light of the June–October rainfall at stations in south-eastern Kenya.
Haggis, M.J. Forecasting the severity of seasonal outbreaks of African armyworm, Spodoptera exempta (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in kenya from the previous year’s rainfall. Bulletin of Entomological Research (1996) 86 (02) 129-136. [DOI: 10.1017/S0007485300052366]