Tuta absoluta continues to spread around the Mediterranean Basin
According to the Information Network on Tuta absoluta (Internet forum) and personal communications, the pest continues to spread, in particular towards the Eastern part of the Mediterranean Basin. The presence of T. absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae – EPPO A2 List) has been detected in the following countries, but most of these records have not been confirmed officially by NPPOs or published in the scientific literature.
Bahrain and Kuwait: the presence of T. absoluta is suspected in these two countries on the basis of symptoms observed on tomato crops.
Egypt and Jordan: articles published in the Egyptian and Jordanian newspapers have indicated that T. absoluta is widespread in these countries and causing severe economic losses in tomato crops.
Lebanon: according to discussions on the Internet forum, T. absoluta is causing problems in tomato crops.
Libya: it was declared in July 2009 that T. absoluta was captured in pheromone traps in 2 locations.
Saudi Arabia: sporadic infestations of T. absoluta have been detected in different parts of the country, in tomato crops in Tabuk (northwest of the country near Jordan), in tomato and potato crops in the northern region of Hail, and also in farms close to Medina (Al-Medina Al-Mounawara).
Sudan: in June 2010, T. absoluta was observed in greenhouse tomatoes (summer production) showing severe foliar symptoms in Khartoum State. From February to April 2011, the pest was detected in tomatoes (both protected and outdoor crops), as well as in aubergine and potato crops using the pheromone traps. This the first record of T. absoluta in Sudan.
Syria: specimens of T. absoluta have been caught in various locations. Leaf damage was observed on many farms in the regions of Banyas and Tartous.
Almatni W (2010) Tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta invades East Mediterranean countries. Arab and Near East Plant Protection Newsletter no. 50, p 29.
INTERNET (last accessed April 2011)
Tuta absoluta – Information Network. www.tutaabsoluta.com
Personal communication with Dr Ensaf S.I. Mohamed, Agricultural Research Corporation, Shambat Research Station Khartoum North, Sudan (2011-04)