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Thermal biology of Tuta absoluta: demographic parameters and facultative diapause

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Abstract

The South American tomato pinworm, Tuta absoluta, (SATP) is now a devastating pest worldwide of crops in the family Solanaceae. Most prior studies of SATP’s thermal biology were based on populations from tropical regions, and proved unsuitable for explaining its invasion of large areas of the Palearctic. A more holistic approach to the analysis of its thermal biology is essential background for developing models to assess its invasive potential. Our studies found that SATP has lower and upper thermal thresholds L = 5.37 °C and θU = 35.69 °C, respectively) than South American populations used in prior studies (θL = 7.38 °C and θU = 33.82 °C). Age-specific life tables were used to estimate the effects of temperature on its demographic parameters. Diapause in SATP had not been characterized prior to our study. We found facultative diapause in pupae developing from larvae exposed to relatively low temperatures (i.e., 2 and 5 °C) and short-day length for different exposure periods. The strength of diapause was measured as an increase in post-treatment developmental times of pupae (i.e., degree days) that on average were 2.45–3-fold greater than of pupae reared at favorable temperatures. A lower developmental threshold and a facultative diapause increase the invasive potential of SATP in temperate areas. Knowledge of this thermal biology is essential for predicting the potential geographic spread of this pest and to develop management and control strategies.

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Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding authors on reasonable request.

Change history

Abbreviations

SATP:

South American tomato pinworm

θ L :

Lower temperature threshold

θ U :

Upper temperature threshold

R 0 :

Net reproductive rate

λ :

Finite rate of increase

r m :

Intrinsic rate of increase

τ :

Generation time

K :

Degree-day

T :

Temperature

dl :

Minutes day length

E :

Exposure periods

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Lionel Salvy, Valérie Frandon, Anne-Violette Lavoir, Christiane Metay-Merrien, Richard Brun, Roger Boll, Sylvain Nuée, Christian Wdziekonski, Sylvain Benhamou, Anouck Lasserre, Lucie S. Monticelli, Yusha Wang, Yanyan Qu, Marianne Araújo Soares, Christine Becker, Peng Han, Timothée Fichant, Tara Malanga, Mathilda Idier, Ha Le-Thu Nguyen and Eva Thomine from INRAe for technical assistance and sharing their expertise during these studies.

Funding

Project ASCII (FP7 IRSES No. 318246) for funding to ND and MRC, the University of Catania (Project 2016-18 "Emergent Pests and Pathogens and Relative Sustainable Strategies - 5A722192113) for financing to AB, the IPM Innovation Lab (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-L-15-00001) for funding to ND and MRC, and the EUCLID project (H2020-SFS-2014, No. 633999) for funding to PB, EAD and ND. In kind funding accrued from the Center for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Kensington, CA, USA. LP was supported by the MED-GOLD project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 776467.

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de Campos, M.R., Béarez, P., Amiens-Desneux, E. et al. Thermal biology of Tuta absoluta: demographic parameters and facultative diapause. J Pest Sci 94, 829–842 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-020-01286-8

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