Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Tuta absoluta

Tuta absoluta (Meyrick, 1917)

tomato leaf-miner

on mainly Solanaceae

Tuta absoluta mine

Lycopersicon esculenteum, Peru, Lima © Chris Snyers

Tuta absoluta mine

Source: Pherobank, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Tuta absoluta: mine on Lycopersicum esculentum

Lycopersicon esculentum, Westland, ‘s-Gravenzande, 1.viii.2014 © Jan Scheffers: first open air observation

Tuta absoluta: mine on Lycopersicum esculentum

larva protruding from the mine

Tuta absoluta: larva on Lycopersicum esculentum


Tuta absoluta: damage to Lycopersicum esculentum

the species also is a borer in the fruits …

Tuta absoluta: damage to Lycopersicum esculentum

… and in the stems.

Tuta absoluta: mine on Solanum tuberosum

Solanum tuberosum, Westland, ‘s-Gravenzande © Jan Scheffers

Tuta absoluta: mine on Solanum nigrum

Solanum nigrum, Westland, ‘s-Gravenzande © Jan Scheffers

Tuta absoluta: opened mine and larva on Solanum nigrum

opened mine with larva

Tuta absoluta: mine on Solanum tuberosum

Solanum tuberosum, Westland, ‘s-Gravenzande © Jan Scheffers

Tuta absoluta

Lycopersicon esculentum, Westland, ‘s-Gravenzande © Jan Scheffers: when the larva acts as a stem borer, some light swelling may occur

Tuta absoluta: mine on Solanum triflorum

Solanum triflorum, Westland, ‘s-Gravenzande © Jan Scheffers

Tuta absoluta: larva on Solanum triflorum



Oviposition at the leaf underside. Initially a full depth gallery with an irregular course and width. Frass here in a central, only rarely interrupted, pearl chain. Later the mine develops into a very irregular, full depth blotch with only a little frass in loose grains. Probably the larva can leave its mine and restart elsewhere (getting rid of its frass in the mean time), because attacked leaves show loose silk at their surface. The larva mines it entire life; pupation is external.

host plants

Solanaceae, to a lesser degree also Amaranthaceae, Convolvulaceae, Fabaceae

Capsicum annuum; Chenopodium album; Convolvulus arvensis; Datura ferox, stramonium; Lycium chilense; Lycopersicon esculentum, hirsutum; Nicotiana glauca, tabacum; Petunia; Phaseolus vulgaris; Schizanthus; Solanum dulcamara, elaegagnifolium, lyratum, muricatum, melongena, nigrum, triflorum, tuberosum, viride.


BE Found by Chris Snyers in in 2011 in Belgium mining in the open air, not far from a tomato greenhouse where already in 2010 an infestation had occurred.

NE NE Found in 2914 by Jan Scheffers in the open, also on a wild plant (Solanum nigrum). Fond vy him in 2016 in the dunes on Solanum dulcamara, nigrum, and triflorum.

LUX not recorded.

distribution within Europe

southern Europe; originally a species from Latin America.


parasitoids, predators

Baryscapus bruchophagi; Brachymeria secundaria; Closterocerus clarus; Elachertus inunctus, pulcher; Hockeria unicolor; Necremnus arytenes, cosmopterix, tutae; Pnigalio cristatus, incompletus; Pteromalus intermedius.


In southern Europe, where the species has been accidentally introduced, a serious pest on potatoes and tomato. In the first case because of damage to the foliage, in the case of tomato mainly because the larvae also attack the developing fruits.


Baldizzone & Scalercio (2018a), Bayram, Giller, Fursov, ao (2016a), Bidzilya, Karsholt, Kravchenko & Šumpich (2019a), Corley, Rosete, Romão ao (2015a), García & Bacallado (2013a), Gebiola, Bernardo, Ribes & Gibson (2015a), Huemer & Karsholt (2010a), Huisman, Koster, Muus & van Nieukerken (2013a), OEPP/EPPO (2005a) Oztemiz (2014a), De Prins & Steeman (2011a), Steeman & Sierens (2019a), Timossi, Bevacqua, Hausmann & Scalercio (2023a), Toševski, Jović, Mitrović, Cvrković, Krstić & Krnjajić (2011a).

Last modified 6.i.2024