The tomato leaf miner (TLM), Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is a new exotic invasive pest in Egypt and is considered one of the most economically destructive pests of tomato and other solanaceous plants worldwide. The effects of temperature on the biological attributes of TLM were studied at five constant temperatures (15, 20, 25, 30 and 35°C) combined with 60±10% R.H. Results indicated that TLM failed to survive due to the high mortality in cohort reared at 35ºC. Total developmental time was negatively correlated to the increase of temperature; being longest (67.67 days) at 15°C and shortest (14.42 days) at 35°C. Longevity of either males or females decreased as temperature increased. The daily average fecundity of females was 15.78, 18.19, 34.65 and 28.26 eggs at 15, 20, 25 and 30ºC, respectively. The mean total lifetime fecundity of TLM females was 13.92, 211, 244.17 and 177.83 eggs at 15, 20, 25 and 30°C, respectively. Adult survival rates were declined gradually to reach 0% after 11 days post emergence at 30ºC, 17 days at 25ºC, 23 days at 20ºC, and 34 days at 15ºC. Life table analysis showed that the population of TLM reared at 30°C had the highest intrinsic rate of increase (0.75), net reproductive rate (28.28), shortest population doubling time (0.93 days) and mean generation time (4.49 days), comparing to populations reared at 15, 20 and 25°C. Thereupon, the optimum temperature for population growth of T. absoluta ranged between 20 to 30°C.
Keywords: Tuta absoluta; Temperature; Life table; Development; Survival; Reproduction
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