South American tomato moth or tomato leafminer (lat.Tuta absoluta, Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) — is a dangerous pest for vegetables cultivated in greenhouse and open field. Tomato leafminer pest first appeared in South America. It is subject for quarantine in many countries.
Tomato leafminer moths are small, the body is 6-7 mm long, wingspan of 10-12 mm, black antennae, with light-grey prickliness, the head is grey, getting darker to front chest; the chest and tegulae are of one color with wings. Front wings are grey, back – dark grey, lighter to the base. The lower part of the belly is of cream color.
The moth has a twilight lifestyle, during the day can be noticed in case shaking of plants. They fly well and taken by the wind, can be transported to long distances, but the species distribution through countries and continents is carried out mainly in the larval stage with imported fruits.
One female can lay about 260 eggs during its life cycle. Larvas develop in four ages. Pupation may take place in the soil, on leafs and in mines. Insects spend the winter in various life stages egg, pupae and adult.
The eggs of tomato leafminer should be searched on lower surface of the leaf. For tomato leafminer caterpillars identification are examined leaves of forage crops, paying attention to the light spots on them. Tomato leafminer is easy to be found by the mines on leafs, damaged stems and fruits. The pest is easily detected in the apical part of the bush, where it affects the buds, flowers and fruits, with dark faces.
The eggs are small, cyllindrical, creamy-yellow or yellow. Comming out of the egg caterpilar of creme color growing becomes yellow-green, with black strip on the back side of the head. Adult caterpillar becomes reddish, in size reaches 8-9 mm.
Light brown pupa, about 6 mm long. The main forage plant for caterpilar is tomato, can damage potatoes and other solanaceae. Nutrition is usually carried out inside of the leaf, but it is also often carried out inside shoots and fruits.
The main forage plant is tomato, but tomato leaf miner caterpillars damage also other plants of solanaceae family, for example potatoe, tobacco, datura.
At the temperature of 25-30 С can develop about 10-12 generations of pest for year. Severely damaged leaves wither, the fruits loose their commercial value, in wounds fall different deseases pathogens, as a result reduces yield considerably.
Integrated protection system allows to restrain the harm produced by the pest, but the fight against it is very difficult. South American tomato leafminer shows resistance to many chemical insecticides. Caterpilars have a hidden lifestyle and pupate in soil.
Tomato leafminer is especially harmfull in greenhouses. Where it can harm 100% of yield. In case of taking protective measures yield reduction may vary from 1 to 5%.
For early detection of tomato leafminer in areas of pest risk. Pheromone traps for pest detecting are hung in the areas of solanaceous crops in june-august at the hight of 1,5 m on the field edge at the rate 1 moth trap for 2 hectares or 1 moth trap for 20 gardens.
In greenhouses pheromone traps are hang first of all at the entrance into greenhouse, and greenhouse perimeter on plants situated at ages or on trellis at the height of 1,5 m at the rate 1 pheromone trap for 250 m2. The survey duration is of 3 days.
Use: Open the packaging imediately before use. Put the dispenser in the center of the pheromone trap adhesive surface. Remove the used package from use zone of the dispenser.
Main pheromone component: E3,Z8,Z11-14:oAc – 95
Additional components: E3,Z8-14:oAc – 5
Carrier (dispenser) – Butyl rubber, natural rubber.
Pheromone traps package:
Three layers of airtight pellicle (polyethylene / aluminum / paper)
Conditions and terms of keeping:
from +10C° till +20С° – 6 months
from +4C° till +10С° – 12 months
from 0C° till +4С° – 24 months
at -18С° - 36 months and more.
Note: These terms are guaranteed in case the package is not damaged. Guarantee term of dispenser action in the field is of 4-6 weeks.