Do releases of the mirid predator Macrolophus basicornis (Hemiptera: Miridae) together with the egg parasitoid Trichogramma pretiosum (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) improve biological control of Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in tomato?

Vanda H.P. Bueno*, Flavio C. Montes, Thibault Costaz, Peter W. de Jong, José R.P. Parra, Joop C. van Lenteren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the past decade, the use of predatory mirids alone or combined with releases of egg parasitoids of the genus Trichogramma have been tested in Europe for biological control of the worldwide invasive pest, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick). Here, we evaluated the control of this pest by the release of the Neotropical mirid Macrolophus basicornis (Stal), the Neotropic/Nearctic parasitoid Trichogramma pretiosum Riley, and by combined releases of the predator and the parasitoid. Tests were conducted in greenhouse compartments during the summer and fall season. Each compartment contained 10 tomato plants in which only the pest was released or the pest with 1 or 2 natural enemies. Plant damage, and pest and natural enemy densities were checked weekly on one apical, medium, and bottom leaf of 5 plants. Both M. basicornis and T. pretiosum significantly reduced T. absoluta density when released alone. Combined releases resulted in a 10% higher reduction during the summer season, but not during the fall season. The damage caused by T. absoluta was significantly higher in control treatments than in all natural enemy treatments: at the end of the summer trial leaves were completely damaged in the control treatment, whereas only up to 25% leaf damage occurred in the natural enemy treatments. Combined releases did not result in lower damage than with releases of either M. basicornis or T. pretiosum. Practical aspects of single and combined releases are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-741
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Volume116
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • damage index
  • intraguild relationship
  • inundative release

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