The Status of Tomato Leafminer; Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in Egypt and Potential Effective Pesticides
A survey of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), infestation on tomato plants was carried out in twelve governorates across Egypt during flowering stage of summer plantation of 2010 and 2011 seasons. The pest causes severe damage to the foliage and fruit. The survey shows that the degree of infestation was 21%, 48% and 28% in Behara, Dommiette and Aswan governorates, respectively. The corresponding values in 2011 were 50% in Benisweef governorate to 100% in El-Gharbia, El-Monifia, El-Dakahleia, Domitt, El-Qalubia, El-Sharkia and El-Isamlia governorates. Also, the number of larvae per 10 plants in 2010 season ranged from 5 to 125 larvae in Banisweef and El-Monifia governorates. Whereas in 2011 season, the corresponding values in Banisweef and El-Monifia governorates ranged from 3 to 380 larvae. The pest was also found to infest newly cultivated area like Tushka at Aswan governorate during the harvesting period of winter planting in 2010 season. Analysis of chemical and biopesticide control methods shows that chemical pesticides such as Chlorantraniliprole 20% SC, Chlorfenapyr 36% SC, Indoxcarb 15%EC, Chlofenapyr 36% SC mixed with Indicarb 15%EC, Spinosad 24%SC, Spinosad 24% SC mixed with Abamectin 1.8%, Emamectin benzoate 50% SG and Imidacloprid 20% SC provide excellent control against T. absoluta, while a biopesticide Bacillus thuringiensis provides moderate control. These pesticides offer tomato growers the tools to control the pest and judicious use of these pesticides will prolong the efficacy and reduce resistance development in the pest.