Journal of Economic Entomology (2016) 109, 120-131

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Liora Shaltiel-Harpaz, Dan Gerling, Shaul Graph, Hendrika Kedoshim, Lotem Azolay, Tamir Rozenberg, Yaakov Nachache, Shimon Steinberg, Arnon Allouche and Tamar Alon (2016)
Control of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), in open-field tomatoes by indigenous natural enemies occurring in Israel
Journal of Economic Entomology 109 (1), 120-131
Abstract: The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), had established in Israel by 2010, attacking both open-field tomatoes and greenhouse crops. We searched for its natural enemies in open-field tomatoes, and tried to determine their potential for controlling this pest. We surveyed the local natural enemies in open tomato fields and measured their impact on pest populations in an unsprayed field. We assessed the suppressive ability of the dominant hemipteran predator, Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter, against T. absoluta under controlled laboratory conditions and evaluated the impact of its augmentation on T. absoluta control in open-field tomatoes. We found five natural enemy species: the predator, N. tenuis, two braconids, and two eulophids. Predation accounted for 64.5 ± 9.2% (mean ± SE) of T. absoluta larval mortality, whereas parasitism accounted for 20.9 ± 7.5%. Together, they eliminated the pest population at tomato harvest time. Under controlled conditions, predation by N. tenuis rose from 58 to 72% with increased density of T. absoluta, suggesting positive density dependence. The reduction of T. absoluta (83%) by N. tenuis was higher than that of Bemisia tabaci (32%), suggesting a preference of N. tenuis for T. absoluta. Augmentation of N. tenuis was as effective as conventional treatment insecticide treatment, and plant damage was low and did not seem to affect yield. Results indicate that reduced pesticide use enables indigenous natural enemies, particularly N. tenuis, to successfully control T. absoluta and prevent crop damage in open-field tomatoes.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Liora Shaltiel-Harpaz, Dan Gerling

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
inundative/inoculative release


Pest and/or beneficial records:

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


Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Israel
Nesidiocoris tenuis (predator) Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Israel