University of Florida

Tomato Spotted Wilt


Tomato spotted wilt


Entire plant


Bronze discoloration of young leaves; development of small dark-colored lesions on leaf blades; dieback of tips of terminal branches and often a distinctive purplish streaking of distal portions of stems and petioles. Plants may be stunted. Leaves can droop downward, giving the plant a wilted appearance. Green fruit may show faint, yellowish or brown, concentric rings. These rings turn red and white or red and yellow as fruit ripen.

Pathogen Spread

The virus is vectored by several species of thrips, including the western flower thrips and the onion thrips.

Favorable Conditions

The disease can be prevalent under conditions that favor development and movement of the thrips vector. It is usually a problem in warmer weather and traditionally has been more of a problem in area 5 (Appendix 9). The virus is acquired only by the larval stage, and is transmitted by adults. A latent period of at least four days is needed between acquisition and transmission.

Tomato Spotted Wilt Pictures

Image # 147.
Tomato spotted wilt-

note necrosis of leaves.

tomato spotted wilt - rotting fruit
Image # 147.
Tomato spotted wilt-

note typical ring symptoms on fruit.