The South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a major threat to tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) crops. After its first detection in Spain in 2006, it spread rapidly through the Western Palaearctic region, arriving in Tunisia 2 years later. The aim of this research was to assess whether generalist indigenous parasitoids are adapting to this exotic host in Tunisian tomato crops. For this, we conducted a survey in four Tunisian tomato-growing areas by sampling infested leaves of tomato and solanaceous weeds and exposing artificially infested sentinel plants. Two ectoparasitoid species were found attacking and developing on T. absoluta: Bracon sp. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Necremnus sp. nr artynes (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), whereas no egg or pupal parasitoids were found. The eulophid wasp was the most abundant with a peak of apparent parasitism rate of 25.5%. It emerged from parasitized T. absoluta young larvae in exposed sentinel plants and in sampled infested tomato leaves, both in greenhouse and open field cultivations. Bracon sp. showed a gregarious development on T. absoluta mature larvae and it was collected only on sentinel plants exposed in the Ragueda (Kiarouan) site, with 10.23% of estimated parasitism. Although further research is still needed to assess properly the ecological role of these parasitoids in the biological control of T. absoluta, this study represents the first step toward establishing the scientific basis for including these parasitoids in the Tunisian IPM and biological programs against this pest.
|Titolo:||Fortuitous parasitoids of the invasive tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta in Tunisia.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|