Greener Journal of Agronomy, Forestry and Horticulture Vol. 2 (3), pp. 044-061, July 2014.
ISSN: 2354-2306 © 2013 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 0529014253
Is Mass Trapping Technique useful for the Control of the Tomato Leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)?
Centre Régional de recherche en Horticulture et en Agriculture Biologique. 4042. Chott-Mariem. Sousse. Tunisia.
Email: braham.mohamed @ gmail .com
The effectiveness of the mass trapping technique for the control of the leafminer, Tuta absoluta was evaluated in an open field tomato in 2011and under greenhouse conditions in 2012 in Tunisia. A field of un-staked tomato was used in Kalaâ Kebira region. The trial was set up in an area of about 12000 m2 in a randomized block design with four replications at three water trap densities (D1 = 20 pheromone traps per ha; D2 = 40 pheromone traps per ha and D3 = 80 pheromone traps per ha). Traps were inspected approximately at weekly interval; leaves and fruits were sampled and examined for insect infestation. Results indicate that the mean number of T. absoluta eggs, larvae and mines per leaflet do not statistically vary between the three tested densities. The percentage of fruit infestation by T. absoluta larvae related to sampling dates were respectively 17.5 %, 18.75 % 18.33 % and 33.75 % for D1 and 15 %, 20 %, 16.25 % and 23.75 % for D2 and 11.25 %, 22.5 % 18.75 % and 20% for D3. Over all, there is no clear difference in fruit infestation regarding the three densities suggesting the possibility of adult migration from nearby tomatoes.
The technique was evaluated in two plastic greenhouses planted with tomato located in Saheline region in comparison with another greenhouse sprayed chemically. High trap densities (12 per greenhouse) were used. Tomato leaves and fruits were sampled and checked for T. absoluta larval infestation. Results suggested that there was no significant difference between mass trapping technique and chemical control strategy. In average, the percentages of fruit infestation were respectively 16.66 %; 23.80 % and 44.44% in the first greenhouse; 18.75 %; 6.66 % and 35 % for the second greenhouse and 14.28 %; 15.38 % and 41.66 % for the control greenhouse managed chemically.
Lessons learnt are that mass trapping strategy demonstrate the need to apply this technique over an isolated field, in the whole area or under greenhouse conditions to minimize the influence of adult migration.
Keywords: Tuta absoluta, tomato, mass trapping, pheromone, trap densities, greenhouse, Tunisia.