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The Zoophytophagous Predator Nesidiocoris tenuis: A Successful But Controversial Biocontrol Agent in Tomato Crops

Abstract

Protected tomatoes and sweet peppers are perhaps the crops whose use of augmentative biological control is the most established in the Mediterranean basin. In both crops, most phytophagous pests can be managed with the release and/or conservation of natural enemies; thus, the use of pesticides is rare. The lack of pesticide use has strengthened export markets, as they exert strong restrictions on pesticide residues. In the case of tomato crops, this change resulted from the development of integrated pest management (IPM) programs based on the use of mirid predators (Hemiptera: Miridae). There are several mirid species found in tomatoes in southern Europe, but Nesidiocoris tenuis is by far the most predominant. Primarily as a result of the use of N. tenuis in south-eastern Spain, IPM in tomatoes has considerably reduced pesticide use and increased the resilience of tomato crops against invasive pests. In this chapter, we present all of the attributes of N. tenuis that made these successes possible as well as the limitations that its use may pose.

Keywords

  • Natural Enemy
  • Tomato Plant
  • Sweet Pepper
  • Tomato Crop
  • Integrate Pest Management Program

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Jan van der Blom (Coexphal, Almería-Spain), Miquel Alonso (IVIA) and Javier Calvo (KOPPERT BS) who provided useful information for this chapter. This work was partially funded by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (AGL2014-55616-C3-1-R) and by the Conselleria d’Agicultura, Pesca i Alimentació de la Generalitat Valenciana. MP-H was the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the MCINN (Juan de la Cierva progam).

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Pérez-Hedo, M., Urbaneja, A. (2016). The Zoophytophagous Predator Nesidiocoris tenuis: A Successful But Controversial Biocontrol Agent in Tomato Crops. In: Horowitz, A., Ishaaya, I. (eds) Advances in Insect Control and Resistance Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31800-4_7

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