Effect of some biocontrol agents and biopesticides against tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on tomato crop at Alexandria, Egypt.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is one of the most popular vegetables around the world. In Egypt, tomato is widely grown vegetable crop annually in 2-3 plantations. Many pests attacking tomato crop causing very serious damage, one of the recent devastating exotic pests is the tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). T. absoluta insect is very difficult to control. Therefore, this study was conducted to find an effective and suitable management approach against tomato leaf miner. The experiment was carried out in the tomato plantation during two consecutive seasons for autumn (15th of August 2018) and spring season (15th of March 2019) at the Experimental Station Farm, Abies, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt. According to the infestation reduction rate of T. absoluta, the data detected that the treatment (Bio, T.a), release of the egg parasitoid, Trichogramma achaeae Nagaraja and Nagarkatti (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) with rate 8 cards/1/4 feddan showed successful results (42.71%) to management T. absoluta, followed by the foliar spray in both of (Bio, N.) treatment (application of Fytomax N based on Azadirachtin 1% extracted from the Neem tree seeds with rate 1 ml./L. of water) and (Bio, B.t) treatment (application of Bacillus thuringiensis (Diple D.F.) with rate 100 gm./1/4 feddan) 35.90% and 33.75%, respectively, lastly use of (Ch,Co.) treatment (application of chemical pesticide (Coragen) based on chlorantraniprole 20% SC with rate 15 cm./1/4 feddan) (8.41%). The yield production and cost benefit were recorded. Results revealed that release of the egg parasitoid, T. achaeae as a biocontrol agent followed by application of Fytomax N (azadirachtin) as a biopesticide, bacteria of B. thuringiensis formulate (Dipel D.F.) and fungi of Metarhizium anisopliae formulate (Lycomax) as biocontrol agents performed best in reducing T. absoluta infestation, increase of yield production and cost benefit, comparing with apply of traditional agriculture practices (i.e. chemical pesticide, hand picking and destruction of infested leaves and fruits).