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New records of Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) predation by Brazilian Hemipteran predatory bugs



Vanda H. P. Bueno (corresponding author), Department of Entomology, Federal University of Lavras, PO Box 3037, CEP 37200-000, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil. E-mail:


The tomato borer Tuta absoluta, native to western South America, is an extremely devastating pest in tomato crops in most of South America, Europe and Africa North of the Sahel, causes yield losses up to 100% and decreases fruit quality in open field and greenhouse crops if control methods are not applied. In Brazil two other important lepidopteran pests – Neoleucinodes elegantalis and Helicoverpa zea – occur in tomato, as well as thrips, whiteflies and aphids. For control of these pests, frequent applications of pesticides of up to 5 times per week are needed, and these resulted in the appearance of resistant populations to a number of active ingredients and decimation of natural enemies. Biological control may offer a better, safer and more sustainable opportunity for pest management. Mirid predatory bugs are currently used with success in southern Europe to control T. absoluta and other pests. In Brazil, four Hemipteran predatory bugs, not yet known to attack T. absoluta, were found to successfully prey on eggs and larvae of this pest. The first results on their predation capacity, development, survival and reproduction on T. absoluta on tomato plants are presented.

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