, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 523–530 | Cite as

Efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes against the tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta in laboratory and greenhouse conditions

  • Laia Batalla-Carrera
  • Ana Morton
  • Fernando García-del-Pino


The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is an important pest of tomato crops in South America and it has recently arrived in Europe affecting tomato plantations. The susceptibility of T. absoluta larvae and pupae to three species of entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) was examined under laboratory conditions. Leaf bioassays were conducted to evaluate the nematode’s capability to reach the larvae and kill them within the galleries. The efficacy of the three nematode species after foliar application to potted tomato plants was evaluated under greenhouse conditions. High larval mortality (78.6–100%) and low pupae mortality (<10%) was determined in laboratory experiments. In the leaf bioassay a high level of larval parasitation (77.1–91.7%) was recorded revealing the nematode’s capacity to kill the larvae inside the galleries. In the pot experiments nematode treatment reduced insect infection of tomato plants by 87–95%. The results demonstrate the suitability of entomopathogenic nematodes for controlling T. absoluta.


Biological control Entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis Steinernema Tuta absoluta Foliar application Survival 



Many thanks to IRTA-Cabrils for rearing T. absoluta pupae and larvae, to Servei de Sanitat Vegetal (Generalitat de Catalonia) for all their effort and help, Miquel Coll to allow us to use his orchard and Jack Skuse for language revision of the manuscript. This research was supported by a Project of the Spanish Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA).


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laia Batalla-Carrera
    • 1
  • Ana Morton
    • 1
  • Fernando García-del-Pino
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament Biologia Animal, Vegetal i Ecologia, Facultat de BiociènciesUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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