Life table parameters of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), on three solanaceous host plants.
The larvae of Tuta absoluta are harmful leafminers that attacks different solanaceous plants such as tomato, potato, colour pepper, eggplant and many others. The life tables of a population are important to control pests because they give the most comprehensive description of the growth, survival and fecundity. Life tables of T. absoluta reared on tomato, potato and eggplant in the laboratory were determined and analysed using the age-stage, two-sex life tables. Developmental periods of eggs, larvae, pupae and adults, and pre-oviposition and oviposition periods of T. absoluta fed as larvae on tomato, potato or eggplant were estimated. Fecundity of a female fed on the same three hosts was 198.3, 172.2 and 133.7 eggs/female, respectively. Life table parameters such as the net reproductive rates (R0) (92.25, 76.25 and 67.82 days), the mean generation time (T0) (31.96, 36.06 and 36.94 days), the intrinsic rate of increase (rm) (0.142, 0.117 and 0.113/day) and the finite population increase (λ) (1.15, 1.12 and 1.12/day) were obtained for T. absoluta fed on tomato, potato and eggplant, respectively. The shortest doubling time (DT) was obtained with tomato leaves (4.9 ± 0.06 days), while the longest DT was obtained with eggplant leaves (6.30 ± 0.08 days). Based on the results herein, it appears that the development and reproductive potentiality of T. absoluta depends on its host plant; this pest can therefore be more dangerous to its suitable host (tomato) than other hosts.