Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), a key pest of tomato, is quickly spreading over the world. Here we report lifetime predation of T. absoluta eggs by adults of three Neotropical mirid species [Campyloneuropsis infumatus (Carvalho), Engytatus varians (Distant) and Macrolophus basicornis (Stal)]. Prey eggs were offered ad libitum on a tomato leaflet at 24 ± 1 °C, 70 ± 10% RH and 12-h photophase. Daily, the number of eggs consumed by adults was noted. Observations were terminated after all adults had died. Total adult lifetime predation of T. absoluta eggs was 337, 313 and 339 for males, and 845, 668 and 934 for females of C. infumatus, E. varians and M. basicornis, respectively. Mean adult lifespan was 27 days for males and 24 for females of C. infumatus, 17 days for males and 14 for females of E. varians, and 30 days for males and 26 days for females of M. basicornis. Total and daily predation was significantly higher for females than for males, though lifespan was significantly longer for males than for females. The daily predation rates of C. infumatus and M. basicornis were similar, but were significantly lower than that of E. varians. Predation rates tended to decrease significantly with adult age for both sexes of all three species, except for males of M. basicornis, although proportions of explained variance were low (r2 < 0.24). Adult survival and egg predation data will later be combined with data about egg development time and survival, and nymphal development time, survival and egg predation to determine the pest kill rate of the three mirid species. The pest kill rate will then be used to predict which of the mirids might be best for control of T. absoluta on tomato. Eventually, experiments at practical tomato production conditions will show whether our predictions are correct.
|Journal||Bulletin of Insectology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2018|
- Biological control
- Engytatus varians
- Macrolophus basicornis
- Tomato borer