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Indigenous Natural Enemies Attacking Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in Southern France

  • Biondi, Antonio
  • Chailleux, Anais
  • Lambion, J.
  • Han, Peng
  • Zappalà, L.
  • Desneux, Nicolas
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
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The South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a serious worldwide threat to tomato industry. Since it has spread to the Afro-Eurasia, it was responsible of extensive damage and its control mainly relied on chemical insecticide applications. In this context, a survey of natural enemies attacking T absoluta spontaneously was conducted in Southern France. Infested tomato leaves were collected from protected tomato crops in seasons 2011 and 2012. Three species of mind predators [Macrolophus pygmaeus (Rambur), Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) and Dicyphus sp.] were found preying on eggs and young larvae of the moth in both seasons of sampling. Eggs were also attacked by two trichogrammatid species, Trichogramma achaeae Nagaraja & Nagarkatti and Trichogramma sp. Whereas, T absoluta larvae were parasitized by four parasitoid species belong to the families; Braconidae (Bracon nigricans Szepligeti), Eulophidae [Neochrysocharis formosa (Westwood), Stenomesius sp. near japonicus and Necremnus sp. near artynes]. Although further studies are needed to assess the actual role of these species in T absoluta control, obtained results represent the first step towards developing biological and integrated management strategies against this pest in France. Furthermore, these results stress the need of conservation strategies of indigenous natural enemies to control the exotic pest species.

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