Bulletin of Insectology (2017) 70, 69-74

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Joop C. Van Lenteren, Vanda H.P. Bueno, Jolein Smit, Marianne A. Soares, Ana M. Calixto, Flavio C. Montes and Peter De Jong (2017)
Predation of Tuta absoluta eggs during the nymphal stages of three Neotropical mirid predators on tomato
Bulletin of Insectology 70 (1), 69-74
Abstract: Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), a key pest of tomato, is quickly spreading over the world. We are evaluating the biology and pest control capacity of three Neotropical mirid species, Campyloneuropsis infumatus (Carvalho), Engytatus varians (Distant) and Macrolophus basicornis (Stal). Here we report about the predation of T. absoluta eggs by all nymphal stages of the three mirid species. A tomato leaflet with ad libitum prey was offered to a newly-emerged 1st instar nymph of a mirid predator and kept at 24 ± 1 °C, 70 ± 10% RH and 12-h photophase. Daily, the developmental stage of the nymph, as well as the number of eggs consumed was noted, and a new leaflet with eggs was added. Observations ended after nymphs had developed into adults and their sex had been determined. The average number of prey eaten by nymphs increased with nymphal age, and the 5th nymphal instar consumed higher numbers of prey than all earlier instars together. Total nymphal predation was 315, 393 and 331 T. absoluta eggs and total nymphal development took 16.9, 16.6 and 17.9 days for C. infumatus, E. varians and M. basicornis, respectively. Female nymphs of M. basicornis consumed significantly more prey than male nymphs. Nymphal survival of the three mirid species was 93%. The adult sex ratios of E. varians and M. basicornis did not deviate from a 1:1 ratio, whereas the sex ratio of C. infumatus was significantly female biased. Nymphal predation of these three Neotropical mirids was higher than values reported for any other mirid predator, which, together with their earlier published positive characteristics, make them interesting candidates for biological control of T. absoluta.
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Database assignments for author(s): Joop C. van Lenteren, Vanda Helena Paes Bueno

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
evaluation - screening - selection


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Brazil (south)
Engytatus varians (predator) Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Brazil (south)
Macrolophus basicornis (predator) Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Brazil (south)
Campyloneuropsis infumatus (predator) Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Brazil (south)