The tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta, another Lepidopteran species, has lately invaded the African region. The species has an enormous reproductive potential and its larvae can cause total crop failure of tomato and other solanaceous plants from feeding damage and by potentially inducing pathogen dispersal. Native to South America, T. absoluta was introduced to Spain in 2006 from where it rapidly spread into Europe (including Switzerland). Recently, the invasive species has been recorded in southern areas of the Sahara Desert, basically in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Senegal, and Cape Verde. New outbreaks of the pest are now reported in Benin (IITA). Molecular and chemical ecology work will be done to increase the knowledge not only on the origin but also on the bio-ecology of the species. Surveys on potential natural enemies will be carried out and classical biocontrol will be examined in close collaboration with key partners such as icipe.

Ghislain Tepa-Yotto: Entomologist, BIMAF coordinator,
Ouorou Kobi Douro-Kpindou: Insect pathologist, Head Biopesticide Production Unit,