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Susceptibility of Cypriot Tuta absoluta populations to four targeted insecticides and control failure likelihood

Michaelides, Georgios, Seraphides, Nicos, Pitsillou, Maria, Sfenthourakis, Spyros
Journal of applied entomology 2019 v.143 no.5 pp. 508-517
Keiferia lycopersicella, Tuta absoluta, bioassays, crop production, farmers, indoxacarb, insecticide resistance, invasive species, mortality, nontarget organisms, pesticide application, resistance management, spinosad, tomatoes, toxicity, Cyprus, South America, Spain
Tuta absoluta, known as the South American tomato pinworm, is one of the most disastrous pests of tomato cultivations, presently menacing tomato cultivations worldwide. In 2006, T. absoluta invaded Spain from South America. Since then, it was rapidly spread to most European, African and Asian countries. Such alien invasive species can minimize crop production, whereas the increasing use of insecticides raises various environmental concerns as well as on control costs, control failure and the toxicity to non‐target organisms. The S. American tomato pinworm is mostly controlled by chemical insecticides, and failure to control it is not a rare phenomenon. Resistance to numerous insecticides has been reported and is mainly due to the fact that farmers do not follow a sustainable resistance management scheme. Several examples have been reported from several countries where the tomato pinworm is present. In order to develop a successful insecticide resistance management (IRM) strategy for any major pest, one needs to identify the baseline toxicity to insecticides and then monitor susceptibility levels. In Cyprus, the current status of susceptibility levels to the main insecticides that are used to control T. absoluta has never been studied before. Herein, nine Cypriot populations of the pest were subjected to laboratory bioassays between 2016 and 2018 using the main insecticides applied against it. We found that the insecticides chlorantraniliprole and indoxacarb could not control the Cypriot T. absoluta populations anymore, with a resistance ratio (RR) >28 and 3–23, respectively. Furthermore, mortality achieved by those two insecticides was 20.6%–72% for chlorantraniliprole and 27.5%–78% for indoxacarb. However, the insecticides emamectin benzoate and spinosad are very effective, since mortality to both of them ranged between 99.5% and 100%.