Existence of cannibalism in South American leaf miner, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick)

VANITHA S, SARAVAN KUMAR P, KAMALA JAYANTHI P.D

Abstract


This study emphasizes on the cannibalistic behavior of the larvae of phytophagous lepidopteran Tuta absoluta Meyrick a serious invasive pest of tomato. Of all the larval instars, only the third in star larvae attacked and cannibalized the conspecific pupae even with its host plant leaves provided. However, it only fed on the freshly formed pupae and not the mature, this might be due to the hard-sclerotized cuticle in the later. The current study adds another phytophagous lepidopteran species with cannibalistic nature to an already existing list, stating the need to generate spatial and temporal leaf miner infestation data under field conditions to understand the ecological significance of the
observed cannibalism in this nefarious pest. 


Keywords


Tomato pinworm, Gelechiidae, larval cannibalism, Tuta absoluta

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