Acta Entomologica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (12): 1469-1482.doi: 10.16380/j.kcxb.2019.12.012

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Biology, ecology and integrated management of the potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)

YAN Jun-Jie, ZHANG Meng-Di, GAO Yu-Lin*    

  1. (State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China)
  • Online:2019-12-20 Published:2019-12-12

Abstract: The potato tuber moth (PTM), Phthorimaea operculella, also known as tobacco leafminer, is a worldwide agricultural pest of Solanaceae crops, especially destructive to potatoes. It originated from the northern region of Central and South America and now has been distributed in more than 100 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and other regions. At present, this pest occurs in southern potato production areas in China, especially in Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces, and the moth is likely to spread to other potato producing areas with climate change. P. operculella reproduces mainly by sexual reproduction and occasionally by parthenogenesis. Its larvae burrow into cavities in potato leaves and tubers. There is no sexual dimorphism in the newly hatched larvae; however, the sex of the 4th instar larva, pupa and adult can be distinguished based on the morphological characteristics. The number of generations of PTM depends on local agricultural climatic conditions, ranging from 2-12 generations per year. P. operculella has high adaptability to temperature fluctuations, and it is prone to large outbreaks in dry and hot years. Early prevention and control mainly focus on agricultural control measures such as selecting resistant varieties, deep seeding and irrigation. Chemical control is still the main way to control PTM. However, due to the widespread use of chemical pesticides, this insect has developed resistance to organophosphates, pyrethroids and other insecticides. In order to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and to slow down the development of pesticide resistance, a variety of natural enemies and insect pathogenic microorganisms have been found and screened for the control of PTM. The sex pheromone of PTM with (E4, Z7)tridecadienyl acetate and (E4, Z7, Z10)tridecacenyl acetate as the main components are effective for monitoring and control of PTM. Eucalyptus, ruffle mint and other plantderived compounds can inhibit the PTM oviposition. Transgenic insect-resistant potatoes and sterile insect technique have also become new methods for the prevention and control of PTM. Previous studies have revealed that it is difficult to achieve the ideal control effect by using a single biological control method, so integrating chemical substances, natural enemies and pathogenic microorganisms compatible with biological control technology is an important trend to effectively control the PTM population. In this article we reviewed the research progresses of the occurrence and damage and the comprehensive prevention and control technology of PTM at home and abroad systematically, hoping to provide reference sources for the sustainable management of PTM.

Key words: Phthorimaea operculella, Solanaceae, insect pests, biology, ecology, integrated management