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Parasitoid control of the tomato fruitworm, Helicoverpa armigera, in smallholder farmer fields in Senegal

Diatte M., Brévault T., Sall-Sy D., Diarra K.. 2018. International Journal of Pest Management, 64 (2) : p. 140-147.

DOI: 10.1080/09670874.2017.1346328

In Africa, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) is a key pest of cotton and vegetable crops, particularly tomato. Alternatives to insecticides to control this pest are needed such as conservation biological control. However, knowledge on the diversity and ecology of naturally occurring enemies of H. armigera is limited. A two-year field survey was conducted in a set of tomato farmer fields in the main vegetable-growing area in Senegal (Niayes) to assess the spatial and seasonal occurrence of indigenous parasitoids of H. armigera, and to evaluate the effect of insecticide use on biological control efficiency. No parasitoid emerged from H. armigera eggs. Incidence of larval parasitoids was generally moderate (20%) but highly variable (0%¿100%) among fields, independently of host abundance, and negatively affected by the number of insecticide applications. Larval parasitism was largely dominated by the larval parasitoid Meteorus laphygmarum Brues (Hymenoptera, Braconidae), but a positive correlation was found between specific richness or Shannon diversity index of the parasitoid community and parasitism rate. This study is a first step toward development of research and extension programs for conservation of natural enemies in the framework of integrated management of the tomato fruitworm in Senegal.

Mots-clés : helicoverpa armigera; solanum lycopersicum; gestion intégrée des ravageurs; lutte biologique; parasitoïde; méthode de lutte; petite exploitation agricole; culture maraîchère; insecticide; utilisation; meteorus; apanteles; bracon; cotesia; brachymeria; eulophidae; tachinidae; parasitisme; insecte utile; sénégal; meteorus laphygmarum

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