Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production is challenged by many factors including pests and diseases. Among insect pests, Phthorimaea operculella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), known as the potato tuber worm or potato tuber moth, is considered one of the most important potato pests worldwide. Phthorimaea operculella is a cosmopolitan pest of solanaceous crops including potato, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), and other important row crops. Adults oviposit in leaves, stems, and tubers; immature stage mines leaves causing foliar damage, but most importantly, burrows into tubers rendering them unmarketable. Currently, pest management practices are effective in controlling P. operculella, but the effectiveness depends on many factors that will be discussed later in this chapter. Each section includes up-to-date information related to P. operculella biology, ecology, and control, including origins, host range, life cycle, distribution, seasonal dynamics, and control methods.
Part of the book: Moths