Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Elucidating key biological parameters of Tuta absoluta on different host plants and under various temperature and relative humidity regimes.

Abstract

The South American tomato pinworm Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is a serious threat to tomato and can occur on other solanaceous crops worldwide. Here we evaluated the development time, fecundity and longevity of T. absoluta on three different host plant cultivars grown in Tunisia: tomato (cv. "Sankara"), potato (cv. "Spunta") and eggplant (cv. "A336"), under controlled laboratory conditions. Results showed a higher capacity of T. absoluta to develop on tomato with a shorter development time (about 31 days) and a higher fecundity (20.47 eggs per female) and longevity (14 days) compared to developing on either potato or eggplant. The development time (egg to adult) of T. absoluta on tomato plant was longer at both lower temperature (21°C), as compared to the higher 28°C, and higher relative humidity (either 52 or 72%), as compared to the lower 32% relative humidity. Fecundity of T. absoluta females on tomato plant was highest at 28°C and 52% relative humidity, as compared to that obtained at 21°C. The present study provides evidence that host plant, temperature and relative humidity are factors that greatly influence key biological parameters of T. absoluta. The obtained results would be useful for developing and implementing suitable control strategies for this major economic pest.