A review of Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) host plants and their impact on management strategies.
Introduction. Tuta absoluta is one of the most harmful insect pests of tomato crops worldwide. While its host plants mainly include Solanaceae species, recent studies suggest that it can lay eggs and develop on a wider range of wild and cultivated plants. No complete list of host plants based on available scientific data exists. Such information is important for those who aim at performing integrated management strategies against this pest, especially when it comes to identify host reservoirs where the species can survive between harvests or avoid insecticide exposure. Literature. We identified cultivated and non-cultivated plant species belonging to Solanaceae, Amaranthaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Geraniaceae, Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Malvaceae that allow partial or complete egg-imago development. Among them, we found out that most non-Solanaceous plants serve as oviposition sites only (with no larval development possible), and a few of them allow partial life cycle (causing late instars to die prematurely). We also identified a strong cultivar-dependence in the most common cultivated plant species including tomato and potato. Conclusions. We discuss the potential of resistant and genetically modified tomato cultivars, plant chemical compounds and fertilization as components of integrated control strategies of T. absoluta.