Tuta Absoluta Zimbabwe
Tuta absoluta, which can cause
extreme damage in
tomatoes, eggplants, aubergine, sweet peppers and potatoes, whilst also feeding on weeds from the Solanaceae family is causing havoc in Zimbabwe presently to farmers not using
Bio Rational solutions
Tuta absoluta has four larval instars, with each stage
developing and feeding within mines inside the leaf. The mining occurs between the upper and lower epidermis layers. Some larvae may be present in the fruit and stems of the target crop.
The next stage in the life cycle of T. absoluta is
development into pupae, which are typically found in soil and occasionally, on the tomato plant.
Overwintering can occur at any stage in the life cycle of Tuta, i.e. the larval, pupal and adult moth life stages. The larvae of Tuta will not enter diapause unless food is scarce.
Duration: 7 days
The eggs of T.
absoluta tend to be laid on the underside of the leaves of the host plant.
Duration: 11 days
After 4 larval instars the larvae will fall to the
ground in a silken thread, ready to begin pupation in the soil. The larvae are very unlikely to enter diapause as long as food source is available. Tuta
absoluta can overwinter as eggs, pupae and adults.
Duration: 5 days
Development of Tuta pupa takes place in the soil and
occasionally on plant parts such as the stem.
Duration: 9 days
Adult moths of Tuta absoluta are relatively small with a body length of ~7mm. The body is brown in colour with darker flecks of colour on each wing.
The duration of the T. absoluta life cycle in different environments:
- 14°C will take approx. 76 days
- 20°C will take approx. 24 days
- 27°C will take approx. 24 days
Maintaining a clean growing area is essential for phytosanitation, this is because T.
absoluta larvae and pupae reside in the leaves and other parts of the crop. Therefore, proper removal of all plant debris from the previous growing cycle is essential to prevent recurring
infestations of Tuta.
Throughout the drying cycle of tomato crops, a high percentage of the T. absoluta are likely to
emerge from the infested plants, which provides a base population for the upcoming growing cycle. Therefore, mass trapping using the water trap is particularly useful during this time.
Biopesticides are an important element of the Tuta absoluta management programme due to the
growing problem of pesticide resistance in the moth, meaning conventional strategies are becoming less effective.
Farmers need to be able to identify when T. absoluta infestation is in its early stages, so that
intervention is possible before the damage becomes too severe. Russell IPM’s biorational solutions will fully integrate with other management programs.
Monitor for the insect pest throughout the season, checking foliage and monitoring devices such as the Tuta trap regularly.
Apply Antario as first line of defence as soon as Tuta absoluta activity is detected.
Next, apply Biotrine and/ or Fytomax: the ultimate solution for advanced stages of infestation to combat Tuta absoluta.
Alternate the Antario, Fytomax,
Recharge and Biotrine application until successful control achieved.