Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Env Exp Biol (2013) 11: 179–184
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Environmental and

Env Exp Biol (2013) 11: 179–184

Original article

Biological aspects of tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in conditions of Northeastern Tunisia: possible implications for pest management

Asma Cherif, Ramzi Mansour*, Kaouthar Grissa-Lebdi
Laboratory of Entomology and Acarology, National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia – University of Carthage, 43 Avenue Charles Nicolle, Cité Mahrajène, 1082 Tunis, Tunisia
*Corresponding author, E-mail: ramzi_mansour82@yahoo.co.uk


The tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta Meyrick is a key insect pest of tomato in Tunisia and in many other countries around the world. The present study was carried out to attempt to acquire better knowledge of the biology of this insect and to implement suitable prophylactic control tools for T. absoluta in Northeastern Tunisia. Under greenhouse conditions, T. bsoluta females exhibited a stronger preference to lay eggs on leaves of the tomato plant apex, in comparison to laying eggs on leaves of either the middle or lower part of the plant. Using pheromone water traps during the period January-May, three flight peaks of T. absoluta males were recorded in Takelsa greenhouses, with the highest trap counts recorded in spring. The use of insect-proof screens significantly prevented T. absoluta infestations on host plants. The tomato cultivars Shams and Chebli were shown to be the least suitable under open-field conditions for egg-laying byT. bsoluta, compared to the cultivar Ferrinz. The use of both insect-proof screens and tomato cultivars with lower suitability for pest’s egg-laying might be a promising prophylactic control tactic against T. absoluta in Northeastern Tunisia.

Key words: cultivar suitability, insect-proof, pest management, population dynamics, prophylactic tool, tomato,Tuta absoluta .

Env Exp Biol (2013) 11: 179–184
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
Published by
University of Latvia

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