Neotropical Entomology (2019) 48, 1-17
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Current strategies and future outlook for managing the neotropical tomato pest Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) in the Mediterranean Basin
Neotropical Entomology 48 (1), 1-17
Abstract: The invasion of new regions by exotic pests has been more than ever a critical issue that warrants coordinated international actions to manage established populations and prevent further spreading. Invasive insects can undermine the ecological equilibrium of both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Moreover, increasing temperatures due to climatic change exacerbate this problem by allowing pests to further reach regions previously considered unsuitable. The tomato pinworm Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera) is an exotic pest native to Peru that has spread beyond Neotropical America. In Europe, its occurrence was reported in Spain in 2006, and thereafter, it has spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin and further into Africa and part of Asia. While T. absoluta can cause losses to tomato production all over the globe, the differences in each invaded region (e.g., climate, vegetation) may affect its population dynamics and, consequently, management protocols. Therefore, the main intent of this forum paper is to explore how European growers and researchers are dealing with T. absoluta in the Mediterranean area. As for many other invasive pests, the best approach has been the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM). Specifically, the integration of biological control agents (e.g., mirid predators and egg parasitoids), microbial insecticides (i.e., Bacillus thuringiensis), selective chemical insecticides, and sex pheromone-based control has proven adequate, especially in tomato greenhouses. Nonetheless, some of the challenges ahead include the development of resistant tomato cultivars, the management of wild vegetation and companion plants to optimize the conservation of natural enemies and their effectiveness at the crop level, the management of insecticide resistance, and the improvement of sex pheromone-based tactics.
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Pest and/or beneficial records:
|Tuta absoluta||Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)||Spain (continental)|