Efficacy of Trichogramma wasps for controlling tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta.
Tomato is considered as one of the most essential vegetables after potato in Egypt. Tomato is infested by many insects; one of these serious insects is tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta, which causes yield losses up to 100%. T absoluta is attacking leaves, flowers, stems and fruits. Trichogramma species is playing an important role in reducing this insect infestation. Efficiency of Trichogramma evanescens alone and in combination with insecticides were assessed against T. absoluta in tomato fields. Three release rates 500, 1000 and 1500 parasitized egg/card as well as 2 insecticides (Dimilin and Corgen) were applied. Number of normal and parasitized eggs, live and dead larvae and tunnel numbers were recorded. The results revealed that T. absoluta eggs were higher in control plots than those counted in Trichogramma plots. Among Trichogramma release rates, higher release rates, obtained higher parasitism rates of Tuta eggs (reached to 50%). Companying Trichogramma with IGR Dimilin had a little side effect on parasitism rate which it was smaller compared to plots of Trichogramma alone. Dimilin (IGR) caused reducing in Tuta larval population, which it differed significantly compared to control plots. Another IGR, Coragen resulted increasing the mortality of Tuta larvae than other treatments. In Trichogramma release rates, higher release rates, lower number of tunnels were found. In plots of companying Trichogramma with Coragen, the lowest tunnel numbers were recorded. Field release of T. evancences would be a promise biocontrol agent to suppress T. absoluta. These findings may encourage using T. evancences as a favorable strategy for integrated management of T. absoluta to produce safe tomato.