Insect and mite pest incidence on sweet pepinos (Solanum muricatum Ait.) cultivated in the IV Region, Chile

Patricia Larraín S.1

From October 1995 through March 1997, pests were studied on pepino (Solanum muricatum Ait.) plants grown at Cerrillos de Tamaya (30° S lat; 71°16´ W long) in Ovalle, IV Region, Chile. Six pepino plots were planted at two-month intervals. The different pests that infested the crops were monitored. Additionally, acaricides and insecticides were evaluated for the control of two-spotted spider mites Tetranychus urticae (Koch), and mealybugs Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tingley), respectively. Results showed twenty-four species of arthropods infesting pepino plants. Among them, the mites, especially Tetranychus urticae, were abundant and reached levels of 350 mites per leaf, causing severe defoliation. Spraying the acaricides cyhexatin and amitraz effectively controlled the infestation. The pepino fly, Rhagoletis nova (Schiner), provoked considerable losses during certain periods, but its greatest importance is that it is a quarantined pest and limits pepino exports to important markets. Other pests of economic significance to the crop, whose population levels must be monitored and controlled, are the moth Symmetrischema tangolias (Gyen), the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) and the soil mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tingley). The mealybug was controlled spraying clorpirifos and carbofuran.

Keywords: insects, pests, mites, pepino, two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, pepino fly, Rhagoletis nova.
1 Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Centro Regional de Investigación Intihuasi, Casilla 36-B, La Serena, Chile. E-mail: plarrain@inia.cl