First report of Tuta absoluta in Qatar
In March 2011, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae – EPPO A2 List) was found for the first time in Qatar at Al-Khor, an area located in the north of the country. The infestation was observed on glasshouse tomato plants growing in two neighbouring farms. Some tomato plants growing in an open field in the same site were also found to be infested by the insect. An eradication programme has been implemented by removing and burning all infested plants, spraying pesticides, pest monitoring using water and pheromone traps. The possible source of infestation may be from tomato fruits imported from outside the country. Precautions are being taken to prevent any further spread of the insect (i.e. prohibition to move plant material from the infested site including composted material, disinfection of all equipment used for plant destruction, warning notices for visitors and elimination of all residues of previous plants and wild host weeds of the solanaceous family). This is the first report of Tuta absoluta in Qatar.
Personal communication (2012-05) with Dr Emad Hussain Al-Turaihi, Agricultural Affairs Department, Ministry of Environment, P.O. Box 1966. Doha-Qatar. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org