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Species Page

tomato leafminer

Phthorimaea absoluta
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)

List of symptoms / signs

Fruit - abnormal shape
Fruit - frass visible
Fruit - internal feeding
Fruit - obvious exit hole
Fruit - premature drop
Fruit - reduced size
Growing point - dead heart
Growing point - distortion
Growing point - frass visible
Growing point - internal feeding; boring
Growing point - lesions
Inflorescence - external feeding
Inflorescence - fall or shedding
Inflorescence - frass visible
Inflorescence - internal feeding
Leaves - abnormal forms
Leaves - external feeding
Leaves - frass visible
Leaves - internal feeding
Leaves - leaves rolled or folded
Leaves - necrotic areas
Stems - dead heart
Stems - dieback
Stems - distortion
Stems - internal feeding
Stems - visible frass
Stems - wilt
Stems - witches broom
Whole plant - dead heart
Whole plant - distortion; rosetting
Whole plant - frass visible
Whole plant - internal feeding
Whole plant - plant dead; dieback

Prevention and control

Cultural Control

Agriculture management such as ploughing, manuring, irrigation, crop rotation, solarisation, as well as specific management by the elimination of symptomatic leaves and the destruction of infested tomato plants have all been used to control Phthorimaea absoluta. Sequential planting with or near to other solanaceous crops that serve as shelter and food sources for P. absoluta such as potatoes, aubergine and pepper should be avoided (Sylla et al., 2019). The removal of alternative reservoir hosts such as nightshades (Solanum nigrum, Atropa belladonna, Solanum dulcamara) (Bawin et al., 2016) is strongly recommended before and during the cropping cycle. In greenhouses, one of the management tactics used to reduce the initial level of populations is to keep infested greenhouses closed after harvest to prevent the migration of adults to open-field crops. Alternating host crops, mainly tomato, potato and aubergine, with non-host cultures can ensure a long-term reduction in pest pressure (Sylla et al., 2019).

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources: