Population growth potential of Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on tomato, potato, and eggplant.
The influence of host plant on population dynamics of an invasive pest, Tuta absoluta was studied on three economically important solanaceous crops. Experiments were conducted in laboratory (29±0.5°C, 75±5% RH and a photoperiod of 14:10 hr [L:D]) using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and eggplant (Solanum melongena L.). Results indicated that intrinsic rate of increase (r), finite rate of increase (λ) and net reproductive rate (R0) were higher, and mean generation time (T) was the shortest on tomato. Results suggested that T. absoluta developed on all the three plants, and tomato plant was most preferred one. Results suggested that T. absoluta has a potential to become a serious pest on potato and even on eggplant under favourable conditions. We used the life tables of 0.025th and 0.975th percentiles of bootstraps to project the uncertainty of population growth, a new concept.