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Pre-plant release enhanced the earlier establishment of Nesidiocoris tenuis in open field tomato

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D. Ch. Perdikis, K. A. Arvaniti, A. Paraskevopoulos, A. Grigoriou
D. Ch. Perdikis, K. A. Arvaniti, A. Paraskevopoulos, A. Grigoriou


The invasive pest of the tomato crops, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), soon after its establishment became a major problem of outdoor and greenhouse tomato crops across the Mediterranean countries. The pre-plant release of the predator Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Heteroptera: Miridae) has been found to substantially contribute to its establishment on the crop and efficient control of T. absoluta in greenhouses. The aim of the current study was to assess whether the pre-plant release of N. tenuis could contribute to its earlier establishment. It was concluded that the release of N. tenuis in the nursery contributed substantially in the earlier increase of its numbers in the field in comparison to the control plots. The native populations of M. pygmaeus appeared on the tomato plants before the native populations of N. tenuis. Thus, the conservation of both predators should be taken into consideration in the integrated management strategies against T. absoluta. Therefore, the application of this method in open field tomato crop enhances the earlier establishment of N. tenuis and should be further evaluated in the control of T. absoluta.


conservation biological control; Gelechiidae; Miridae; omnivorous predator; pest control; tomato borer

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