Comparative biology of South American tomato moth, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on three solanaceous host plants
South American tomato moth, Tuta absoluta is the emerging invasive pest on tomato and other solanaceous crops in India. Biology of T. absoluta was carried out on three solanaceous hosts viz., tomato (cv. NS 501), egg plant (cv. Dhruva) and potato (cv. Kufri Jyothi). Tomato was the most preferred host followed by potato and egg plant for its development. Mean number of eggs laid per female was 81.75±13.49 on tomato followed by potato (41.8±14.34) and egg plant (19.45±9.11). Similarly, egg hatching was fastest in tomato (3.75±1.11 days) followed by potato (5.10±0.78 days) and egg plant (6.10±0.911 days). Total larval period on tomato, potato and egg plant recorded was 7.95±3.14, 11.45±3.64 and 14.3±3.5 days, respectively. Survival rate of both sexes was more on tomato (Male-14.9±1.65 days and Female-18.10±1.8 days) than on potato (9.75±1.16 & 12.0±1.02 days) and egg plant (7.55±1.31 & 8.90±0.71 days). Irrespective of host plants, females survived more when compared to males.
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