chapter  15
Bio-ecology of major insect and mite pests of tomato crops in the tropics R. Srinivasan, AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, Taiwan
Pages 20

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is one of the most important vegetables in the world. On an average, it is grown on more than 4.50 million ha with an annual production of nearly 163 million tonnes. Asia and Africa account for about 67% of the global tomato production in the last decade (FAO, 2013). In the tropics, tomato production is severely constrained by several insect-and mite pests. The major pests include fruit borer, common armyworm, beet armyworm, whitefly, thrips, aphid, leaf miner and spider mites (Srinivasan, 2010). In the recent years, the South American tomato leaf miner has become a serious invasive pest in Africa, Mediterranean and parts of South Asia. Most of these insect pests could lead to complete crop failure if left uncontrolled. However, they are partly triggered to reach the economic injury level due to the indiscriminate use of broad-spectrum chemical pesticides, which mostly eliminate the natural enemy complex present in tomato production systems in the tropics. Besides the natural enemies, changes in the landscapes and cropping systems, warming climate and so on also alter the pest profiles including their damage potential. Hence, it becomes imperative to understand the bio-ecology of

major insect and mite pests on tomato in the tropics, and this chapter summarizes the recent findings in this perspective.