The new invasive pest Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in India and its natural enemies along with evaluation of Trichogrammatids for its biological control

The South American tomato moth Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) is a devastating pest of tomato. In the present study Tuta-adapted strains of Trichogramma were evaluated. Amongst the three species, Trichogramma achaeae Nagaraja and Nagarkatti, Trichogramma pretiosum Riley and Trichogrammatoidea bactrae Nagaraja could parasitise T. absoluta eggs and the parasitism rates were 5.0%, 51.1% and 68.2% respectively. Adults emerged from the parasitized T. absoluta eggs (4.8%, 97.5% and 90.0% adult emergence respectively). The F1 generation adults of T. pretiosum could parasitise 29% of Corcyra cephalonica Stainton eggs, while the other two species were not successful in parasitizing. In addition, four ‘hymenopteran’ parasitoids, viz. T. achaeae, Neochrysocharis formosa (Westwood), Habrobracon sp. and Goniozus sp. were also observed to be associated with T. absoluta in the fields during the surveys undertaken in southern India.

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