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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Invasive Species and Pollinator Health » Research » Research Project #439542

Research Project: Proactive Classical Biological Control of Tuta absoluta in California

Location: Invasive Species and Pollinator Health

Project Number: 2030-22300-032-025-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Nov 1, 2020
End Date: Oct 31, 2024

The primary objectives of this project are to collect non-target Lepidoptera for host specificity testing of parasitoids for Tuta absoluta, and to help in data analyses and the presentation of research results.

A final comprehensive list of potential non-target species will be created with careful consideration given to other selection criteria of special interest: taxonomically and ecologically related species; economic pest status; geographic distribution, phenology, and seasonal abundance; endemic/rare species status; ease of laboratory rearing. Reasonable access to non-targets from California and other out-of-state sources will ultimately determine the final non-target testing group. Accordingly, the Biological Control Program at CDFA will obtain state insect collecting and rearing permits (Form 66-0226) for non-target species. A representative selection of North American non-target Lepidoptera (and other relevant orders) will be collected throughout California using traps and sweep nets, focusing on species occurring on tomato and potato. Final results from host-specificity testing and complementary studies will be compiled, analyzed and prepared in the form of an environmental risk assessment report submitted to USDA-APHIS and CDFA. Results will also be disseminated by USDA and CDFA cooperators to agricultural stakeholders through peer-reviewed publications, trade magazine articles, USDA/CDFA webpages, and presentations at national conferences.