Assessment of leaf miner Liriomyza spp (diptera: Agromyzidae) damage on tomato and the yield output in Ilorin, Southern Guinea Savannah, Nigeria
Tomato plays an important nutritional role in human diet. Although, Nigeria is the largest producers of tomato in Africa, its production is threatened by the invasive polyphagous insect pest belonging to the genus Liriomyza. An experiment was conducted to enumerate the level of damage of the agromyzid fly Liriomyza spp on the tomato variety, UC82B. Infestations were observed on potted tomato plants and studied from December 2016 to March, 2017. The experimental treatment consisted of both screen house and field trials. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with four replicates. Data were collected on the number of tomato leaves mined by larvae of the pest every week after transplanting (WAT) and on the total weight of tomato fruits harvested. Using t-test statistical analysis, results revealed that tomato plants grown in the field were the most infested by the insect pest from 5 to 10 WAT having significantly higher (P < 0.05) mean population of the pest when compared to the screen house which had little or no infestation. However, there was no significant difference in the leaf damage by Liriomyza spp from 2 to 4 WAT. Tomato fruits harvested at the end of the experiment were weighed and observation showed that the screen house gave more fruit yield (90.80±6.10g) compared to the field experiment (24.20±2.27g) which was significantly lower due to leaf miner flies’ damage on tomato leaves. Therefore, appropriate control measures of the insect pest are recommended where screen houses may not be accessible.