Print Email Comment share on Facebook Share on twitter
Print this page
Email link to this page
Send comments about this page
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Document sans nom

Keiferia lycopersicella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)

Tomato pinworm

 

NOTE: Keiferia lycopersicella has now been added to the EPPO A1 List. A full datasheet is being prepared, in the meantime you can view here the data which was previously available from the EPPO Alert List.

 

Why: Keiferia lycopersicella came to EPPO’s attention because it was detected in 2008 damaging a tomato crop in Italy (1 production site in Liguria). K. lycopersicella originates from the Americas (probably Central America) where it is considered as a significant pest of tomato. The EPPO Panel on Phytosanitary Measures considered that this pest may represent a threat to the EPPO region, and suggested its addition to the EPPO Alert List.

 

Adult of Keiferia lycopersicella
Natasha Wright (FDAC - US) - Bugwood.org

Where: K. lycopersicella is considered to be a tropical and sub-tropical species. In North America, it occurs outdoors in Mexico and the Southern US states. In cooler areas, it is found in glasshouses (in most cases introduced with infested transplants) from which it can also escape to nearby fields during summer.
EPPO region: an incursion was detected in Italy (Liguria region) in 2008 in one tomato crop, but since then the pest has not been found again. It is considered that the pest did not establish.
North America: Canada (Ontario), Mexico, USA (Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia).
Central America and the Caribbean: Bermuda, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad).
South America: Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela.

On which plants: The main host of K. lycopersicella is tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) but other Solanaceae can be attacked, such as eggplant (Solanum melongena) or potato (S. tuberosum). Weed species like S. carolinense, S. xanthii, S. umbelliferum and S. bahamense are recorded as hosts. Capsicum spp., Nicotiana tabacum and the weed, S. nigrum, are considered as unsuitable host plants.

Damage: Damage is caused by larvae which feed on flowers, leaves and fruit of tomato plants. Larvae mine the leaves, feeding only on the inner part and leaving the upper and lower surfaces inctact. Later, they can form protective leaf folds under which which they continue to feed. This type of feeding causes large blotches adjacent to each leaf fold. Heavy infestations can lead to the destruction of many leaves (burnt appearance of the plant) which considerably reduces tomato yield. The most important damage occurs when larvae enter tomato fruit. They generally bore under the calyx, but entry holes are difficult to detect (small ‘pin holes’). After a while, brown granular frass can be seen at the edge of the calyx. Larvae create narrow blackened tunnels into the fruit which can then be invaded by secondary pathogens.
Larva of Keiferia lycopersicella
Natasha Wright (FDAC - US) - Bugwood.org

Adults are small, brownish or grayish moths (wingspan of 9-12 mm). They are nocturnal and generally hide during the day. L. lycopersicella can be confused with other species having the same habits, in particular with Tuta absoluta and Phthorimaea operculella. Eggs are laid on leaves, singly or in small clusters. There are 4 larval stages (mature larvae reach 5.8-7.9 mm long) and pupation usually takes place in the soil (a loosely woven pupal cell intermingled with soil particles is formed near the soil surface). The duration of the life cycle depends on the climatic conditions, for example in warm areas of the USA a generation can be completed within 26 to 34 days during summer. There are several overlapping generations per year (e.g. 7 to 8 overlapping generations in Florida).
Pictures of the pest can be viewed on the Internet:
http://www.insectimages.org/browse/subthumb.cfm?sub=8645
http://www.chemtica.com/Tuta/TutaWeb/PDF/Tuta%20Identification%20guide.pdf

Transmission: Adults can fly but data is lacking on the natural spread potential of K. lycopersicella. In North America, it has been observed that many tomato crop infestations resulted from shipments of infested containers used when harvesting, crates, fruits or seedlings, as well as from pest populations which had survived on plant debris left in the fields after harvest or in compost heaps.

Pathway: Plants for planting, fruits from countries where K. lycopersicella occurs; packing material that has transported infested tomatoes.

Possible risks: Tomatoes are widely grown across the EPPO region (indoors and outdoors) and are of high economic value. K. lycopersicella is considered as a significant pest of tomatoes in countries where it occurs. High infestation levels can lead to severe damage, and economic losses have been reported in the absence of appropriate control measures both in outdoor and glasshouse tomato crops. IPM strategies have been developed against K. lycopersicella (i.e. use of locally produced and healthy tomato transplants, monitoring with pheromone traps, mating disruption, timely applications of insecticides, use of biocontrol agents such as Apenteles spp. or Trichogramma pretiosum). The development of resistance to insecticides has been reported for K. lycopersicella. Because of its hidden mode of life, the pest is difficult to detect by visual inspection of fruits, and entry holes are very small. The incursion of K. lycopersicella in Italy clearly demonstrates that the pest has been able to enter the EPPO region (even if the circumstances of this introduction remain unknown). Although, further studies are needed, it seems that K. lycopersicella has the potential to establish in the EPPO region (outdoors in the southern part and indoors across the entire region). It can be noted that Shutova (1984) identified K. lycopersicella as a potential threat to tomato-growing areas of Central and Eastern Europe; and this pest is currently included in the quarantine list of Moldova. The fact that recent outbreaks of a similar pest, Tuta absoluta, in the EPPO region have had major consequences on pest management programmes in tomato crops, further advocates for the importance of avoiding the introduction of K. lycopersicella into the EPPO region.

Sources
Carpinera J (2001) Handbook of vegetable pests. Academic Press (US), 761 pp.
Charlton RE, Wyman JA, McLaughlin JR, Du JW, Roelofs WL (1991) Identification of sex pheromone of tomato pinworm, Keiferia lycopersicella (Wals.). Journal of Chemical Ecology 17(1), 175-183 (abst.).
Cubillo D, Hilje L, Cartin VM (1996) Spatial distribution and comparison of sampling methods for larvae of Keiferia lycopersicella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in Alajuela, Costa Rica. Manejo Integrado de Plagas 39, 10-16 (abst.).
Ferguson G, Shipp L (2002) New pests in Ontario greenhouse vegetables. Bulletin OILB/SROP 25(1), 69-72 (abst.).
Geraud-Pouey F, Chirinos DT, Rivero G (1997) Population dynamics and damage caused by Gelechiidae leaf miners of tomatoes in the north western region of Zulia State, Venezuela. Boletin de Entomologia Venezolana 12(1), 43-50 (abst.).
Geraud-Pouey F, Perez G (1994) [Notes on Keiferia lycopersicella (Walsingham), Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae, in Venezuela]. Boletin de Entomologia Venezolana 9(2), 203-206 (in Spanish). Available online: http://avepagro.org.ve/entomol/v09-2/v0902a06.html
Jones MT (1985) Use of Bacillus thuringiensis in pest management of the tomato ecosystem in Trinidad. Proceedings of the 20th Caribbean Food Crops Society Meeting (St Croix, US Virgin Islands, 1984-10-24/26), 176-179.
Morales-Payan JP, Santo BM (199) Control of the tomato fruit worm (Keiferia lycopersicella) with imidacloprid. Proceedings of the 33rd Caribbean Food Crops Society Meeting (Puerto Rico, 1997-07-06/12), 340-342.
NPPO of Italy (2010-07).
Sannino L, Espinosa B (2009) Keiferia lycopersicella, una nuova tignola su pomodoro. L'Informatore Agrario no. 4, 69-70.
Schuster DJ (1989) Development of tomato pinworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on foliage of selected plant species. Florida Entomologist 72(1), 216-219.
Schuster DJ, Brewer MJ, Alvarado-Rodriguez B, Sorensen KA, Trumble JT (1996) Estimating resistance to methomyl in the tomato pinworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) using a pheromone trap bioassay. Crop Protection 15(3), 283-287.
Schuster DJ, McLaughlin JR, Mitchell ER (2001) Comparison of formulations and dispensers for mating disruption of the tomato pinworm, Keiferia lycopersicella (Wals.) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society 113, 205-209 (abst.).
Shipp JL, Ferguson GM, Hunt DWA (2001) Keiferia lycopersicella (Walsingham), tomato pinworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). In: Biological Control Programmes in Canada, 1981-2000 (eds. PG Mason and JT Huber), CABI Wallingford (GB), 139-140.
Shipp JL, Wang K, Ferguson G (1998) Evaluation of commercially produced Trichogramma spp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) for control of tomato pinworm, Keiferia lycopersicella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), on greenhouse tomatoes. Canadian Entomologist 130(5), 721-731.
Shutova NN (1984) [The tomato moth]. Zashchita Rastenii 11, 54-55 (in Russian).
Sierra Pena A, Pozo Velasquez E, Cruz Leyva D, Gonzalez Yirat L (2009) Distribucion de Keiferia lycopersicella (Walsingham) en plantas de tomate en casas de cultivo protegido. Fitosanidad 13(1), p 47 (abst.).
Ward CR, Mitchell ER, Sparks AN, Serrate H, Villarroel D (1980) Response of the fall armyworm and other lepidopterous pests of Bolivia to synthetic pheromones. Florida Entomologist 63(1), 151-153.
Williamson TM, Murray RC (1993) Field evaluation of eight insecticides for control of the tomato pinworm, Keiferia lycopersicella in Jamaica. Bulletin - Research and Development Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Jamaica 68, 45-51 (abst.).
INTERNET
CABI Crop Protection Compendium. Datasheet on Keiferia lycopersicella. http://www.cabi.org/cpc/
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia. Keiferia lycopersicella by Sparks A Jr and Riley DG (undated). http://wiki.bugwood.org/Keiferia_lycopersicella
National Information System for the Regional IPM Centers (US)
Crop profile for tomatoes in New Jersey (January 2007). http://www.ipmcenters.org/cropprofiles/docs/NJtomatoes.pdf
Crop profile for tomatoes in North Carolina (July 2007). http://www.ipmcenters.org/cropprofiles/docs/nctomatoes.pdf
Crop profile for tomatoes in Tennessee (July 2002). http://www.ipmcenters.org/cropprofiles/docs/tntomatoes.pdf
Crop profile for tomatoes in Virginia (June 2001). http://www.ipmcenters.org/cropprofiles/docs/VAtomato.html
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs - Ontario (CA). Factsheet on Tomato pinworm: biology and control strategies for greenhouse tomato crops by Ferguson G and Shipp L (dated August 2009). http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/04-025.htm
University of Florida. IFAS Extension. Tomato pinworm, Keiferia lycopersicella (Walshingham) by SL Poe (dated 1999). http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN23100.pdf

 

EPPO RS 2010/211

Panel review date -
Entry date 2010-11

 

Back