Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Aleurodicus dispersus
(whitefly)

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Datasheet

Aleurodicus dispersus (whitefly)

Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
A. dispersus, 'spiralling whitefly', eggs on soyabean leaf.
TitleEggs
CaptionA. dispersus, 'spiralling whitefly', eggs on soyabean leaf.
CopyrightErnst Neering
A. dispersus, 'spiralling whitefly', eggs on soyabean leaf.
EggsA. dispersus, 'spiralling whitefly', eggs on soyabean leaf.Ernst Neering
Adult A. dispersus usually have plain white wings, but occasionally have pale or dark spots on the forewings. Pupae secrete copious amounts of white, cottony, flocculent wax.
TitleAdults
CaptionAdult A. dispersus usually have plain white wings, but occasionally have pale or dark spots on the forewings. Pupae secrete copious amounts of white, cottony, flocculent wax.
Copyright©Matthew Cock
Adult A. dispersus usually have plain white wings, but occasionally have pale or dark spots on the forewings. Pupae secrete copious amounts of white, cottony, flocculent wax.
AdultsAdult A. dispersus usually have plain white wings, but occasionally have pale or dark spots on the forewings. Pupae secrete copious amounts of white, cottony, flocculent wax.©Matthew Cock
A. dispersus infestation on guava, Philippines: when abundant they are conspicuous on leaves due to the white flocculence that covers their bodies.
TitleInfestation on guava
CaptionA. dispersus infestation on guava, Philippines: when abundant they are conspicuous on leaves due to the white flocculence that covers their bodies.
Copyright©Matthew Cock
A. dispersus infestation on guava, Philippines: when abundant they are conspicuous on leaves due to the white flocculence that covers their bodies.
Infestation on guavaA. dispersus infestation on guava, Philippines: when abundant they are conspicuous on leaves due to the white flocculence that covers their bodies.©Matthew Cock
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
TitlePupa
CaptionStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
Copyright©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
PupaStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
TitlePupa
CaptionStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
Copyright©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
PupaStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
TitlePupa
CaptionStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
Copyright©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.
PupaStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus pupa.©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus adult.
TitleAdult
CaptionStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus adult.
Copyright©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus adult.
AdultStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus adult.©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus adult.
TitleAdult
CaptionStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus adult.
Copyright©Natural History Museum, London
Stained slide preparation of an A. dispersus adult.
AdultStained slide preparation of an A. dispersus adult.©Natural History Museum, London

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Aleurodicus dispersus Russell, 1965

Preferred Common Name

  • whitefly

International Common Names

  • English: spiralling whitefly
  • Spanish: mosca blanca
  • French: aleurode

EPPO code

  • ALEDDI (Aleurodicus dispersus)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Aleyrodoidea
  •                                 Family: Aleyrodidae
  •                                     Genus: Aleurodicus
  •                                         Species: Aleurodicus dispersus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Aleurodicus dispersus was first described by Russell (1965) in Florida, USA and many Caribbean and Central American countries. It is located within the Aleurodicinae, the smaller of two subfamilies within the Aleyrodidae, which comprises approximately 100 species. A. dispersus is characterized by distinctive compound and simple pores (Russell, 1965). Identifications are made on the morphology of the fourth instar (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989), which requires slide mounted specimens as well as taxonomic keys. Waterhouse and Norris (1989) note some characteristic features of the adults and larvae.

Description

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Adult female A. dispersus lay a few to several elliptical, smooth-surfaced, yellow-to-tan coloured eggs (0.3 mm long and 0.1 mm wide). The eggs have a short pedicel or subterminal stalk, which is inserted into the host plant during oviposition (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). The eggs are laid, along with deposits of waxy secretions, in a spiralling pattern. Egg spirals are formed in both regular and irregular patterns (Boopathi, 2013). Regular egg spiral pattern at early and later stages of infestation were found more on Cocos nucifera (93.3%) and Solanum melongena (38.7%), respectively. Percent irregular spiral pattern on various host plants during early and later stages of infestation ranged from 6.7 to 63.3 and 61.3 to 100.0, respectively (Boopathi, 2013).

There are four distinct larval stage. The first larval stage ('crawler') is the only mobile immature stage (0.32 mm long and 0.1 mm wide). The first larval stage has functional walking legs and antennae. They are translucent, yellowish green, elliptical with a convex dorsum (Boopathi, 2013). They are found mostly on the leaf surface parallel to vein or veinlet. The first larval stage has meagre deposits of white powdery wax. During the second larval stage (0.5 mm long and 0.2 mm wide), a row of mid-back waxy tufts form on the anterior of the body. The second larval stages are oval, translucent and had many marginal fringes of wax covering the body of dorsum. During the third larval stage (0.65 mm long and 0.41 mm wide), short, evenly-spaced, glass-like, waxy rods emanate from distinctive compound pores along the side of the body (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). They have numerous evenly spaced waxy rods on the margin of the body produced from abdominal pores with more wax secretion covering the body. Russell (1965) described the pore structure in detail for each immature stage.

During the early pupal stage (fourth larval stage), sedentary feeding continues (Russell, 1965; Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). Copious amounts of white, cottony flocculent wax, extending from the dorsum, are then secreted by the pupae; more so than for the larval stages. The body of fourth larval stage (0.67 mm long and 0.43 mm wide) is covered entirely with copious amount of white waxy materials (Boopathi, 2013). Young pupae are nearly flat dorsally and flat ventrally. Mature pupae (1.06 mm long and 0.34 mm wide) have a swollen ventral surface and are surrounded by a band of wax. The waxy rods emanating from each of the large compound pores, which occur in five subdorsal pairs, extend upward and outward from the back. The waxy rods can be up to 8 mm in length (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). Pupae are colourless or yellowish, nearly oval and 1-1.25 mm long and 0.75-0.90 mm wide (Russell, 1965). Fully mobile adults emerge from the pupae. The pupal cases or puparia are used for identification purposes. Martin (1987; 1996) provided keys to tropical pest species based on pupal morphology.

Adults emerged from the pupae through a 'T'-shaped exit slit on the dorsal surface of the pupae (Boopathi, 2013). Adult A. dispersus are white and coated with a fine dust-like waxy secretion. Body length of males 2.28 mm and females 1.74 mm. Both sexes are winged. Wings are clear soon after emergence, but turn white due to the wax coating after a few hours. Pale or dark spots may occasionally occur on the forewings. The wing span is 0.77 mm long and 0.29 mm wide in male and 0.75 mm long and 0.29 mm wide in female (Boopathi, 2013). Antennae have seven segments and eyes are dark reddish-brown (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). The mean antennal length is 0.37 mm in male and 0.27 mm in female (Boopathi, 2013). Adult females do not have pores, while males have numerous circular pores on the abdomen (Russell, 1965). Adult males have a very short simple aedeagus and often have extremely long claspers (0.27 mm long).

Wen et al. (1994b) described the morphology, including body size for immatures and adults, of A. dispersus in Taiwan. In India, the morphology, including body size for both immatures and adults of A. dispersus is described by Boopathi (2013).

Distribution

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Aleurodicus dispersus is of Neotropical origin, and is native to Central America and the Caribbean region. It is naturally found in Central and South America, the Caribbean and southern Florida, USA. It has been present in the Canary Islands since 1962. During the 1970s it began a rapid expansion of its range. It established in Hawaii in 1978 (Paulson and Kumashiro, 1985). It was first reported in the Philippines in 1982, and during the 1980s it spread throughout the islands of the Pacific (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). Since then, it has been reported in India, Sri Lanka, Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and northern Australia (Martin, 1990; Wijesekera and Kudagamage, 1990; Kajita et al., 1991; Akinlosotu et al., 1993; Wen et al., 1994b; Palaniswami et al., 1995; Carver and Reid, 1996). More recently, it has been reported in Unguja Island Tanzania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal and Seychelles (Hazell et al., 2008; EPPO, 2014).

The distribution map includes records based on specimens of A. dispersus from the collection in the Natural History Museum (London, UK): dates of collection are noted in the list of countries.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 12 May 2022
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

BeninPresent
Cabo VerdePresent
CameroonPresent
Congo, Republic of thePresent
GabonPresent
GhanaPresent
KenyaPresent
MauritiusPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
MoroccoPresent
MozambiquePresent
NigeriaPresentIntroducedInvasive
RéunionPresent
São Tomé and PríncipePresent
SenegalPresent
SeychellesPresentIntroduced
TanzaniaPresent
TogoPresentIntroducedInvasive

Asia

BangladeshPresent
BruneiPresentIntroducedInvasive
ChinaPresentIntroduced1988
-HainanPresentIntroduced
IndiaPresent, Widespread
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresent2013
-Andhra PradeshPresent
-ChhattisgarhPresent
-Himachal PradeshPresent2017
-KarnatakaPresent
-KeralaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-LakshadweepPresent
-MaharashtraPresent
-ManipurPresentIntroduced2013Invasive
-MeghalayaPresent
-MizoramPresent
-OdishaPresent
-Tamil NaduPresent
-TelanganaPresent2000
IndonesiaPresent
-JavaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-SumatraPresentIntroducedInvasive
LaosPresentIntroducedInvasive
MalaysiaPresent, Widespread
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-SabahPresentIntroducedInvasive
-SarawakPresentIntroducedInvasive
MaldivesPresentIntroducedInvasive
MyanmarPresentIntroducedInvasive
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedInvasive
SingaporePresentIntroducedInvasive
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedInvasive
TaiwanPresentIntroducedInvasive
ThailandPresentIntroducedInvasive
VietnamPresentIntroducedInvasive

Europe

NetherlandsAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey
PortugalPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
-MadeiraPresentIntroducedInvasive
SpainPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive

North America

BahamasPresent
BarbadosPresent
BelizePresent
Cayman IslandsPresent
Costa RicaPresent
CubaPresent
DominicaPresent
Dominican RepublicPresent
GuadeloupePresent
GuatemalaPresent
HaitiPresent
MartiniquePresent
NicaraguaPresent
PanamaPresent
Puerto RicoPresent
United StatesPresent
-FloridaPresent
-HawaiiPresent

Oceania

American SamoaPresent
Australia
-QueenslandPresent, Few occurrences
Cook IslandsPresent
Federated States of MicronesiaPresent
FijiPresent
French PolynesiaPresent
GuamPresent
KiribatiPresent
Marshall IslandsPresent
NauruPresent
New CaledoniaPresent
Northern Mariana IslandsPresent
PalauPresent
Papua New GuineaPresent
SamoaPresent
Solomon IslandsPresent
TokelauPresent
TongaPresent

South America

BrazilPresent
-BahiaPresent
ColombiaPresent
EcuadorPresent
French GuianaPresent
PeruPresent
VenezuelaPresent

Risk of Introduction

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Aleurodicus dispersus presents a serious phytosanitary risk to tropical and subtropical areas on the edges of its current range. Quarantine areas have been declared in Queensland, Australia. The movement of plants, plant material and fruits out of quarantine areas can only proceed after official inspections (Lambkin, 1998). The spread of A. dispersus on citrus is of particular concern, in Australia, Mexico and other countries. A. dispersus is quarantine pest for Iran (Cheraghian, 2015). Only the climatic limitations will ultimately determine the final distribution of this highly invasive and polyphagous pest. It has not stopped moving yet. A. dispersus will remain on the alert list in Spain (EPPO, 2005).

It appears unlikely that it could establish outdoors in most parts of the EPPO region. However, it may present a risk for the warmest parts of southern Europe, where many of its host plants are grown (citrus, avocado, palms, tomato, aubergine etc.). It may also present a risk for ornamentals or vegetable crops grown under glasshouse conditions (EPPO, 2006). The risk would be associated with movement of leaves (that are used to make traditional food dishes in the Pacific). In the last 25 years, A. dispersus has been shown to be a highly invasive pest in the Pacific and elsewhere. There are few Pacific Island countries that have not reported its presence. Failing to abide by strict quarantine procedures may lead to new areas becoming infested with whiteflies. It is not known to be a vector of any plant viruses.

Hosts/Species Affected

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Aleurodicus dispersus is highly polyphagous, being common on a wide range of different families. Russell (1965) recorded it from 38 genera in 27 plant families in Florida, USA.

In Taiwan, Wen et al. (1994b) listed 144 species of host plant, in 64 families, with host range varying with season. In Indonesia, Kajita et al. (1991) reported A. dispersus attacking 22 plants in 14 families, including ornamentals, shade and fruit trees and annual crops. In India, Boopathi (2013) listed 147 host plant in 53 families. In Kerala, India, Prathapan (1996) listed 72 host plants, ranked by intensity of infestation.

In addition to the hosts listed, Diospyros philippinensis, Elaeocarpus serratus, Heliotropium indicum, Ixeris oldhami, Laguncularia racemosa, Melaleuca leucadendron [Melaleuca leucadendra], Peristeria spp., Pterocarpus spp., Rhus semialata [Rhus chinensis], Sagittaria trifolia and Sideroxylon ferrugineum are also secondary hosts of A. dispersus. In India, Boopathi (2013) recorded 56 host plants as a new host of A. dispersus out of 147 host plants.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Abelmoschus esculentus (okra)MalvaceaeUnknown
Abelmoschus manihot (bele)MalvaceaeUnknown
Abutilon indicum (country mallow)MalvaceaeUnknown
Acacia (wattles)FabaceaeOther
Acacia farnesiana (huisache)FabaceaeUnknown
Acalypha (Copperleaf)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Acalypha hispida (Copperleaf)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Acalypha indica (Indian copperleaf)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Acalypha wilkesianaEuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Acanthospermum hispidum (bristly starbur)AsteraceaeUnknown
Achyranthes aspera (devil's horsewhip)AmaranthaceaeUnknown
Agave americana (century plant)AgavaceaeOther
Ageratum conyzoides (billy goat weed)AsteraceaeMain
AglaonemaAraceaeUnknown
Amaranthus (amaranth)AmaranthaceaeOther
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeUnknown
AngelicaApiaceaeUnknown
AnnonaAnnonaceaeUnknown
Annona muricata (soursop)AnnonaceaeUnknown
Annona squamosa (sugar apple)AnnonaceaeOther
Antigonon leptopus (coral vine)PolygonaceaeUnknown
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)FabaceaeOther
Areca catechu (betelnut palm)ArecaceaeOther
Artocarpus (breadfruit trees)MoraceaeOther
Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit)MoraceaeUnknown
Artocarpus heterophyllus (jackfruit)MoraceaeUnknown
Asystasia gangetica (chinese violet)AcanthaceaeUnknown
Averrhoa bilimbi (bilimbi)OxalidaceaeUnknown
Azadirachta indica (neem tree)MeliaceaeUnknown
BarleriaUnknown
Bauhinia (camel's foot)FabaceaeOther
Bauhinia purpurea (purple bauhinia)FabaceaeUnknown
BegoniaBegoniaceaeOther
Bidens pilosa (blackjack)AsteraceaeUnknown
Bixa orellana (annatto)BixaceaeUnknown
BougainvilleaNyctaginaceaeOther
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea)NyctaginaceaeUnknown
Brachychiton acerifoliumSterculiaceaeUnknown
Cajanus cajan (pigeon pea)FabaceaeMain
Calopogonium mucunoides (calopo)FabaceaeUnknown
Calotropis gigantea (Yercum fibre)ApocynaceaeUnknown
CannaCannaceaeOther
Canna indica (canna lilly)CannaceaeOther
Capsicum (peppers)SolanaceaeOther
Degri et al. (2008); Nasruddin et al. (2014)
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeOther
Capsicum frutescens (chilli)SolanaceaeUnknown
Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeOther
Cascabela thevetia (yellow oleander)ApocynaceaeUnknown
Cassia (sennas)FabaceaeOther
Cassia roxburghiiFabaceaeOther
Cathormion umbellatumFabaceaeUnknown
Celtis (nettle tree)UlmaceaeOther
Centrosema pubescens (Centro)FabaceaeUnknown
Cestrum (jessamine)SolanaceaeOther
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (butterfly palm)ArecaceaeOther
Chrysanthemum (daisy)AsteraceaeOther
Chrysanthemum indicum (chrysanthemum)AsteraceaeUnknown
Cinnamomum camphora (camphor laurel)LauraceaeOther
Citrullus lanatus (watermelon)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
CitrusRutaceaeMain
Citrus limon (lemon)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus sinensis (sweet orange)RutaceaeUnknown
Cleome gynandraCapparaceaeUnknown
Clitoria ternatea (butterfly-pea)FabaceaeUnknown
Cochlospermum gillivraeiUnknown
CocosUnknown
Cocos nucifera (coconut)ArecaceaeMain
Codiaeum variegatum (garden croton)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Coelospermum decipiensUnknown
Coffea (coffee)RubiaceaeOther
ColeusLamiaceaeOther
ColocasiaAraceaeUnknown
Colocasia esculenta (taro)AraceaeOther
Combretum indicum (Rangoon creeper)CombretaceaeUnknown
Corymbia torelliana (cadaga)LithomyrtusUnknown
Crassula ovata (jade plant)CrassulaceaeUnknown
Crotalaria pallida (smooth crotalaria)FabaceaeUnknown
Crotalaria retusa (rattleweed)FabaceaeUnknown
Cucumis (melons, cucuimbers, gerkins)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucumis melo (melon)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Cyanthillium cinereum (little ironweed)AsteraceaeUnknown
Cymbopogon flexuosusUnknown
Dahlia pinnata (garden dahlia)AsteraceaeOther
Datura metel (Hindu datura)SolanaceaeOther
Delonix regia (flamboyant)FabaceaeUnknown
Dendrophthoe falcataLoranthaceaeOther
Deplanchea tetraphyllaUnknown
Derris trifoliataUnknown
Desmodium tortuosum (Florida beggarweed)FabaceaeUnknown
Dimocarpus longan (longan tree)SapindaceaeUnknown
Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm)ArecaceaeUnknown
Erythrina variegata (Indian coral tree)FabaceaeUnknown
EugeniaLithomyrtusOther
EupatoriumAsteraceaeUnknown
Euphorbia (spurges)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Euphorbia cyathophoraEuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Euphorbia heterophylla (wild poinsettia)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Euphorbia hirta (garden spurge)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia)EuphorbiaceaeOther
FicusMoraceaeOther
Ficus benghalensis (banyan)MoraceaeUnknown
Ficus carica (common fig)MoraceaeUnknown
Ficus oppositaUnknown
Ficus religiosa (sacred fig tree)MoraceaeUnknown
Gliricidia sepium (gliricidia)FabaceaeUnknown
Gloriosa superba (glory lily)LiliaceaeUnknown
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeMain
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeOther
Gossypium herbaceum (short staple cotton)MalvaceaeUnknown
Gyrocarpus americanusHernandiaceaeUnknown
Hedera (Ivy)AraliaceaeOther
HedychiumUnknown
Helianthus annuus (sunflower)AsteraceaeUnknown
Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke)AsteraceaeUnknown
Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Hibiscus (rosemallows)MalvaceaeOther
Hibiscus mutabilis (cottonrose)MalvaceaeOther
Hibiscus platanifoliusMalvaceaeOther
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (China-rose)MalvaceaeMain
Hibiscus schizopetalus (fringed hibiscus)MalvaceaeOther
Hibiscus syriacus (shrubby althaea)MalvaceaeUnknown
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood)MalvaceaeUnknown
Impatiens (balsam)BalsaminaceaeUnknown
Impatiens balsamina (garden balsam)BalsaminaceaeUnknown
Ipomoea (morning glory)ConvolvulaceaeOther
Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)ConvolvulaceaeOther
Ipomoea carnea subsp. fistulosa (bush morning glory)ConvolvulaceaeUnknown
Ipomoea eriocarpaConvolvulaceaeUnknown
Ipomoea hederifolia (scarlet-creeper)ConvolvulaceaeUnknown
Ipomoea pileataUnknown
Ixora chinensisRubiaceaeOther
Ixora coccinea (flame-of-the-woods)RubiaceaeOther
Jasminum (jasmine)OleaceaeOther
Jasminum auriculatumOleaceaeOther
Lactuca sativa (lettuce)AsteraceaeOther
Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Lagerstroemia indica (Indian crape myrtle)LythraceaeUnknown
Lantana camara (lantana)VerbenaceaeUnknown
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena)FabaceaeUnknown
Ludwigia hyssopifolia (water primrose)OnagraceaeUnknown
Luffa aegyptiaca (loofah)CucurbitaceaeOther
MacadamiaProteaceaeOther
Macaranga tanarius (parasol leaf tree)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Mallotus nesophilusUnknown
Malvastrum coromandelianumMalvaceaeUnknown
MalvaviscusUnknown
MangiferaAnacardiaceaeUnknown
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeOther
Manihot esculenta (cassava)EuphorbiaceaeMain
Manihot glaziovii (ceara rubber)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)SapotaceaeOther
Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot)MarantaceaeUnknown
Merremia dissectaUnknown
Mirabilis jalapa (four o'clock flower)NyctaginaceaeUnknown
Momordica charantia (bitter gourd)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Monstera deliciosa (ceriman)AraceaeOther
Moringa oleifera (horse radish tree)MoringaceaeUnknown
MorusOther
Morus alba (mora)MoraceaeUnknown
Morus australisMoraceaeUnknown
Morus nigra (black mulberry)MoraceaeUnknown
Mucuna bracteataUnknown
Murraya koenigii (curry leaf tree)RutaceaeUnknown
Musa (banana)MusaceaeOther
Musa acuminata (wild banana)MusaceaeUnknown
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)MusaceaeMain
MussaendaRubiaceaeUnknown
Nerium oleander (oleander)ApocynaceaeUnknown
OchrosiaApocynaceaeUnknown
Ocimum tenuiflorum (holy basil)LamiaceaeUnknown
Operculina turpethumUnknown
Osmanthus fragransOleaceaeOther
OxygonumUnknown
Pergularia daemiaUnknown
Persea americana (avocado)LauraceaeMain
Phaseolus (beans)FabaceaeOther
Phaseolus lunatus (lima bean)FabaceaeMain
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)FabaceaeOther
Phyllanthus emblica (Indian gooseberry)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Physalis (Groundcherry)SolanaceaeOther
Physalis angulata (cutleaf groundcherry)SolanaceaeUnknown
Physalis minima (Sunberry)SolanaceaeUnknown
Piper betle (betel pepper)PiperaceaeUnknown
Planchonia careyaAsterolecaniidaeUnknown
Pluchea indica (Indian camphorweed)AsteraceaeUnknown
Plumeria (frangipani)ApocynaceaeOther
Plumeria albaApocynaceaeOther
Plumeria obtusaApocynaceaeUnknown
Plumeria rubra (red frangipani)ApocynaceaeUnknown
Polyalthia longifolia (debdar)AnnonaceaeUnknown
Pongamia pinnata (Indian beech)FabaceaeOther
Pouteria unmackianaUnknown
Premna serratifoliaLamiaceaeUnknown
Prunus (stone fruit)RosaceaeMain
Prunus dulcis (almond)RosaceaeUnknown
Psidium guajava (guava)LithomyrtusMain
Pterocarpus indicus (red sandalwood)FabaceaeOther
Pueraria montana var. lobata (kudzu)FabaceaeUnknown
Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeUnknown
Rhododendron (Azalea)EricaceaeOther
Rhynchosia minimaFabaceaeUnknown
Ricinus communis (castor bean)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Rorippa indica (Indian marshcress)BrassicaceaeOther
Rosa (roses)RosaceaeOther
Rubus (blackberry, raspberry)RosaceaeOther
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)RosaceaeUnknown
Salvia (sage)LamiaceaeOther
Sanchezia speciosa (shrubby whitevein)AcanthaceaeUnknown
Sauropus androgynusEuphorbiaceaeOther
Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper tree)AnacardiaceaeOther
Semecarpus australiensisAnacardiaceaeUnknown
Senna (Spermatophyta)Unknown
Senna montanaFabaceaeOther
Senna occidentalis (coffee senna)FabaceaeUnknown
Sida acuta (sida)MalvaceaeUnknown
Sida hyssopifoliaUnknown
Sida rhombifoliaMalvaceaeUnknown
Solanum (nightshade)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum americanumSolanaceaeUnknown
Solanum incanum (grey bitter-apple)SolanaceaeUnknown
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum melongena (aubergine)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)SolanaceaeMain
Sonchus asper (spiny sow-thistle)AsteraceaeUnknown
Sonchus oleraceus (common sowthistle)AsteraceaeUnknown
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)PoaceaeOther
Spondias pinnataAnacardiaceaeUnknown
Stachytarpheta indicaVerbenaceaeUnknown
StrelitziaStrelitziaceaeOther
Stylosanthes hamata (Caribbean Stylo)FabaceaeUnknown
Synedrella nodiflora (synedrella)AsteraceaeUnknown
SyngoniumAraceaeUnknown
Syzygium aqueum (watery rose-apple)LithomyrtusUnknown
Syzygium suborbiculareLithomyrtusUnknown
Tabernaemontana divaricataApocynaceaeOther
Tagetes erecta (Mexican marigold)AsteraceaeUnknown
Tecoma stans (yellow bells)BignoniaceaeUnknown
Tectona grandis (teak)LamiaceaeUnknown
Tephrosia (hoary-pea)FabaceaeUnknown
Tephrosia bracteolataFabaceaeUnknown
TerminaliaCombretaceaeUnknown
Terminalia catappa (Singapore almond)CombretaceaeOther
Thespesia populnea (portia tree)MalvaceaeUnknown
TournefortiaBoraginaceaeUnknown
Trichosanthes cucumerina (snake gourd)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Urena lobata (caesar weed)MalvaceaeUnknown
Vernonia cinereaAsteraceaeUnknown
Vigna (cowpea)FabaceaeOther
Vigna marina (beach bean)FabaceaeUnknown
Vigna radiata (mung bean)FabaceaeUnknown
Vigna unguiculata (cowpea)FabaceaeUnknown
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeUnknown
WedeliaAsteraceaeUnknown
Wollastonia bifloraUnknown
Xanthosoma sagittifolium (elephant ear)AraceaeUnknown
Ximenia americana (hog plum)OlacaceaeUnknown
Zingiber zerumbet (shampoo ginger)ZingiberaceaeOther

Growth Stages

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Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

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Immature and adult stages of A. dispersus cause direct feeding damage by sucking plant sap, which can cause premature leaf fall (EPPO, 2006). In cassava (Manihot esculenta), A. dispersus infestation caused yellowish speckling of the leaves and in severe infestation the leaves crinkled and curled. Infestation spread from the bottom leaves to the top (Palaniswami et al., 1995). Symptoms of infection are mosaic, leaf and vein discolouration and tissue distor­tion such as curling and crinkling or wrinkling (Costa, 1969). However, A. dispersus was mostly commonly impli­cated as a vector and has been associated with more than 25 different diseases and feeds on a larger number of plant species (Russell, 1965; Costa, 1969). Plants are also disfigured and may be unmarketable (EPPO, 2006). Boopathi (2013) described the intensity of damage by using seven grade.

Indirect damage is due to the heavy production of honeydew and white, waxy material produced by the insect. Copious honeydew is excreted which coats surrounding surfaces and often develops a layer of sooty mould.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / abnormal leaf fall
Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould
Leaves / leaves rolled or folded

Biology and Ecology

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Reproductive Biology

The common name of A. dispersus, the spiralling whitefly, is derived from its characteristic egg-laying pattern, although other species of aleurodicine whitefly also lay eggs in spiral patterns (Martin, 1990). Females, collected in the field in Sri Lanka and studied in the laboratory, each laid 14-26 eggs in a loose spiral on the underside of leaves. Eggs hatched after 7-10 days, the first and second larval instars lasted for 6-9 days in total, the third instar for 5-13 days and the fourth (pupae) 5-16 days. Adults lived for about 2 weeks (Wijesekera and Kudagamage, 1990). Boopathi (2013) described adult longevity ranging from 11.0 to 15.4 days. Adult longevity was greater on Gossypium hirsutum (15.1 days) and Manihot esculenta (14.4 days), compared to a shorter duration on Capsicum annuum (chilli) (11.0 days).

Physiology and Phenology

The immature stages of A. dispersus are found on the lower leaf surface of host plants. The leaf structure of the host plant appears to affect feeding preference (Wen et al., 1994a). The larval stages and adults feed by sucking phloem sap from leaves. Copious honeydew is excreted which coats surrounding surfaces and often develops a layer of sooty mould when colonies are poorly controlled.

Wen et al. (1994b) described the effects of temperature on development rate and fecundity. Adults were active between 12.3-32.3°C and maximum female fecundity occurred at 25°C. A. dispersus populations were found all year round in southern Taiwan, building up rapidly in October, reaching a peak in November and then declining gradually after December. The developmental time (from oviposition to eclosion) of the pest at 25°C on poinsettia, canna, guavas (Psidium guajava) and pawpaws (Carica papaya) was 26.1, 25.0, 29.4 and 26.1 days; immature mortality was 26.9, 24.5, 33.3 and 27.8%; and fecundity was 65.2, 35.8, 51.3 and 58.0 eggs per female, respectively (Wen et al., 1996). Boopathi (2013) described the highest incubation period (8.3 days), first instar (6.1 days), second instar (6.2 days), third instar (7.0 days), fourth instar (7.4 days), total nymphal period (26.7 days), pupal period (2.7 days) and adult longevity (17.6 days) were recorded on cassava at 25°C as compared to other two temperatures viz., 30 and 35°C. The total developmental period (39.8 days) was also highest at 25°C. The highest and lowest percent adult emergence was at 25°C (90.3) and 35°C (82.8), respectively. A temperature of 30°C (28.3/female) produed the highest number of eggs by a female. The highest egg hatchability was at 25°C (93.9%) (Boopathi, 2013).

Females begin laying eggs within a few days of emergence and continue to lay throughout their lifetime. The rate of population growth can be rapid. In one experiment, 20 pairs produced 1549 individuals in 37 days (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). Unmated females produce only male progeny, while mated females produce a mixture of male and female progeny. Adults are most active in the morning, but mate in the afternoon (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). Boopathi (2013) reported that fecundity showed greater variations among different host plants. The highest and least number of eggs laid per female was in M. esculenta (28.5) and M. alba (13.1), respectively.

Environmental Requirements

In the USA, A. dispersus is limited to southern coastal areas in Florida where mild winter temperatures occur. Extreme mortality occurs at low temperatures (below 10°C), which limits the northward spread of A. dispersus in the Americas (Cherry, 1979).

Manzano et al. (1995) described the biology of A. dispersus in the Canary Islands. In Karnataka, India, Aishwariya et al. (2007) studied the biology of A. dispersus on guava during the winter, summer and wet seasons. Boopathi (2013) described the biology of A. dispersus in Tamil Nadu, India on ten different host plants and also studied the effect of temperature on the biology of A. dispersus on cassava and eggplant (Solanum melongena).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Allograpta obliqua Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Nymphs; Arthropods|Pupae
Cheilomenes sexmaculata Predator Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs
Chilocorus nigrita Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae
Chrysopa Predator Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae
Chrysoperla comanche Predator Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs
Coelophora inaequalis Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Nymphs; Arthropods|Pupae
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Predator
Curinus coeruleus Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae
Delphastus pusillus Predator Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs American Samoa; Hawaii guavas; polyphagous
Encarsia guadeloupae Parasite
Encarsia haitiensis Parasite Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Nymphs Guam; Northern Mariana Islands guavas; Plumeria
Encarsia meritoria Parasite
Encarsia nigricephala Parasite
Encarsia sophia Parasite
Encarsia transvena
Encarsiella aleurodici Parasite Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae
Encarsiella noyesi Parasite Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae
Euderomphale vittata Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Harmonia sedecimnotata Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Nymphs; Arthropods|Pupae
Iridomyrmex anceps Predator Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs
Lecanicillium lecanii Pathogen
Nephaspis amnicola Predator Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs Hawaii
Nephaspis bicolor Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae
Nephaspis oculata Predator Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs
Olla v-nigrum Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae
Paragus serratus Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Nymphs; Arthropods|Pupae
Scymnus Predator Adults; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Aleurodicus dispersus is recorded as being frequently parasitized in Florida, USA (Russell, 1965). The common parasitoids of A. dispersus on banana in Costa Rica were described by Blanco-Metzler and Laprade (1998). Gerling (1990) presented a short key for parasitoids of whiteflies. Clausen (1934) listed natural enemies of Aleyrodidae in tropical Asia, although A. dispersus was probably not present in Asia at that time. Ramani et al. (2002) and Boopathi (2013) listed natural enemies of A. dispersus in India.

Encarsia haitiensis was believed to be host-specific on A. dispersus (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989); however, E. haitiensis as a parasitoid of A. dispersus is based on a misidentification. The species widely reported in published papers as E. haitiensis or E. near haitiensis is in fact an undescribed species closely related to E. hispida, which also attacks A. dispersus (Polaszek et al., 2004). Boopathi (2013) described the morphometry and parasitization level of E. guadeloupae and E. sp. nr. meritoria. Hernandez-Suarez et al. (2003) reported E. hispida and E. guadeloupae affecting A. dispersus in the Canary Islands. In India, E. guadeloupae and E. sp. nr. meritoria were the most abundant parasitoids of A. dispersus on cassava (Manihot esculenta) (Boopathi 2013).

Paulson and Kumashiro (1985) described natural enemies of A. dispersus in Hawaii. Kumashiro et al. (1983) described the introduction of two parasitoids and several coccinellids into Hawaii for the biological control of A. dispersus, of which Nephaspis oculatus (N. amnicola) was the most effective coccinellid predator. Boopathi (2013) and Boopathi et al. (2016) described the predatory potential and life history of Mallada astur, M. desjardinsi, C. zastrowi sillemi, Cybocephalus spp., Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and A. puttarudriahi.Yoshida and Mau (1985) described the life history and feeding behaviour of N. oculatus. Although N. oculatus has a wide prey range in laboratory studies, in the field, it shows a strong preference for whiteflies. However, it is only effective as a natural enemy within high prey densities. In contrast, E. haitiensis is most effective when whitefly populations are low (Kumashiro et al., 1983). Boopathi (2013) and Boopathi et al (2017) studied the effect of insecticides on natural enemies of A. dispersus in cassava and eggplant (Solanum melongena).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Natural dispersal can be achieved by flying adults. Over long distances, the pest has showed its potential for spread, being introduced into many different parts of the world. Movement of infested plants or fruits can ensure long distance transmission.

Accidental Introduction
The eggs and larvae of A. dispersus may be transported on leaves and these early insect stages are often cryptic. The eggs may also be transported on fruit. Newly-dead foliage may harbour puparia, which are usually detected by the presence of woolly secretions.

The spread of A. dispersus in Nigeria was through human association, in that the risk of spread increased with frequency of movement of humans or materials (Asiwe et al., 2002). When A. dispersus is introduced by human activity or other yet-unreported means, they are first found clustered in areas where where their preferred host plant is located before then spreading to infest other plant host (Asiwe et al., 2002).

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsAir travel with viable plant material Yes Asiwe et al. (2002)

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Fruits (inc. pods) arthropods/eggs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Leaves arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Growing medium accompanying plants
Roots
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)
Wood

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Non-wood
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections Negative
Animal/plant products Negative
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health Negative
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species None
Tourism Negative
Trade/international relations Negative
Transport/travel None

Economic Impact

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The economic impact of A. dispersus infestations is due to a combination of three factors. Direct feeding damage results from the extraction of sap from leaves, mainly by larval stages but with adults also contributing. Direct feeding can cause premature leaf drop, reduces plant vigour and yields, but rarely kills plants outright. Indirect damage is due to excreted honeydew that encourages the development of sooty moulds, which hinder photosynthesis and reduce yields. Finally, cosmetic damage is due both to sooty moulds and to the white flocculence secreted by immature stages, which reduces the market-value of crops.


Aleurodicus dispersus is not usually an economic pest within its native range of Central America and the Caribbean. In Florida, USA, where A. dispersus has been collected from avocados , citrus, guavas and palms, it was initially suspected of being a vector of the mycoplasma causing coconut lethal yellowing disease (Russell, 1965). A. dispersus has been reported as a vector of the cassava brown streak virus (CBSV), Potyviridae, in Manihot esculenta (cassava) in Kenya, although it has not proven to be an efficient vector (Mware et al., 2009). Lethal yellows was first recorded a short time after A. dispersus became established and has in the past been responsible for the loss of over 90% of the coconut palms (Cocos nucifera) in the Florida Keys (Russell, 1965; Weems, 1971). However, a planthopper is now suspected of being the lethal yellowing disease vector (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). A. dispersus is currently only a minor pest in Florida.

In regions where A. dispersus has established in the absence of its natural enemies, however, it can be a serious pest of many horticultural crops, vegetable crops, ornamentals, fruit trees and shade trees. A. dispersus was first recorded in Hawaii in 1978, for example and a year later it was considered to be a major economic pest of a diverse range of crops. Successful biological programs have been in operation in Hawaii since the early 1980s (Kumashiro et al., 1983). In the absence of this biological control agent in California, the whitefly may be expected to lower crop yield by both sucking juices from plants and reducing their photosynthetic capacity by contaminating leaf surfaces with sooty mould.  They may also lower crop value by triggering treatment and/or disfiguring nursery stock with their presence and with sooty mould. Furthermore, Arizona maintains a quarantine against all citrus whiteflies and many of California’s trading partners list A. dispersus as a harmful organism. This could lead to disruptions in markets for California citrus. The pest could lower crop yield, crop value (includes increasing crop production costs) and trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).


Aleurodicus dispersus is a recently discovered economic pest in both southern India and eastern Himalayan regions of India and west Africa. In India, for example, it has reached pest status on cassava, where up to 580 insects per leaf have been observed (Palaniswami et al., 1995). A range of susceptible crops has been catalogued in Kerala, India, by Ranjith et al. (1996) and in other regions (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Predesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Andaman Nicobar) of India by Boopathi (2013) and in Nigeria by Akinlosotu et al. (1993). It has also recently been recorded on soyabean in Indonesia, where it is a potential economic pest (Kajita et al., 1991). Since its accidental introduction into Taiwan in 1988, it has posed a serious threat to fruit trees, forest trees, food crops, ornamentals and shade trees throughout the country (Wen et al., 1997). A. dispersus currently presents a major threat to Australian agriculture, as it has recently entered Queensland via the Torres Strait islands (Lambkin, 1998).

In New Zealand, the crops/plants likely to be affected include Citrus, avocado, macadamia, stone fruit, lettuce, peppers , tomatoes, beans and sweet potato; cut-flowers such as roses and chrysanthemums; and ornamentals such as azaleas, dahlias, canna lilies, poinsettia and hibiscus. The impacts are likely to be on the horticultural and nursery sectors. The potential economic consequences are considered to be moderate in the areas affected.

Environmental Impact

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Aleurodicus dispersus could have significant environmental impacts, such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes. Rosa minutifolia (small-leaved rose) is listed as an endangered species in California and is a potential host for spiralling whitefly. The whitefly may also lead to an increase of chemical insecticides. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species and also trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

In New Zealand, A. dispersus infests hosts from 38 genera in 27 plant families, potentially affecting many amenity and native species in urban, suburban and rural areas. Based on known attacks on native plants by exotic species present in New Zealand, Beever et al. (2007) suggested that, in terms of risk to native flora, sap-sucking hemipterans, particularly polyphagous species, are a high-risk group. It is likely that A. dispersus would find hosts in the native flora.

Social Impact

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The copious white, waxy, flocculent material by the nymphs is scattered by the wind and creates an unsightly nuisance (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989; Ramani et al., 2002; Boopathi, 2013). Wind-borne flocculence can be unsightly and may also contribute to asthma attacks (Waterhouse and Norris, 1989). Adults can enter houses and may also contribute to allergies and dermatitis (Mani et al., 2001; Boopathi, 2013). The flocculent wax material can adhere to windows and may also cause allergies and dermatitis (Mani et al., 2001; Boopathi 2013). The sticky honeydew carried by wind on the flocculent wax to windows and cars also causes considerable annoyances (Mani et al., 2001; Boopathi, 2013).

In Hawaii, at the height of infestation, complaints were received for allergies and dermatitis, although it is not known whether the adult A. dispersus or the flocculent wax material or both were responsible (Kumashiro et al., 1983; Esguerra, 1987). In New Zealand, it is unlikely that A. dispersus would reach levels of infestation that would have any significant impact on human health. It is likely domestic gardeners would feel some impact through loss of yield, cost and difficulty in controlling the insect and the sooty mould. These impacts will be restricted to the areas where A. dispersus is likely to establish.

Detection and Inspection

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When A. dispersus are abundant they are conspicuous on leaves due to the white flocculence that covers their bodies (Russell, 1965). They are found on the undersides of leaves, often associated with sticky honeydew and sometimes sooty mould growth.

A. dispersus were found in significantly higher numbers in the upper canopy than in the middle and the lower canopy on guava (Shah Alam et al., 1997).

The white spiral pattern of eggs and white, fluffy wax, which covers the immature stages and adults on the underside of the leaves, is conspicuous and distinctive. Note that other species of whitefly also lay eggs in a spiral pattern.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Russell (1965) described A. dispersus in comparison with the closely related A. coccolobae and A. flavus. Identification is on the basis of distinctive compound and simple pores in the pupal stage. It should be noted that other members of this genus, mostly native to the Neotropical region, also lay their eggs in spiral patterns like A. dispersus. Reliable identification requires microscopic study of slide-mounted pupal cases.

Martin et al. (1997) provided keys to enable adults and puparia of A. dispersus to be distinguished from the newly introduced crop pest Lecanoideus floccissimus sp. nov. in the Canary Islands. Comprehensive microscopic analysis is required to accurately identify whitefly species.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Biological Control

Aleurodicus dispersus was first recorded in Hawaii in 1978, after which it spread rapidly. Its pest status on guavas (Psidium guajava) stimulated a successful biological control programme (Kumashiro et al., 1983; Beardsley, 1993). The introduction and establishment of the coccinellid beetle Nephaspis oculatus (N. amnicola) and the parasitoid Encarsia haitiensis successfully controlled A. dispersus on guavas in highland and lowland areas of Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1980-1981, peak population densities of A. dispersus were reduced by 79% in the lowlands and 98.8% in the highlands. Rainfall, temperature and previously established predators, particularly Allograpta obliqua, probably also contributed to the reduction of A. dispersus populations (Kumashiro et al., 1983). Mallada astur and Cybocephalus spp. were found to be the most efficient predator in reducing the population of A. dispersus in India (Boopathi, 2013). Inundative releases of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and M. astur against A. dispersus had only in temporary reduction of the whiteflies during 1998-1999 in Karnataka (Mani et al., 2001).


Since the biological control of A. dispersus in Hawaii, there have been further successes on Pacific Islands; for a review see Waterhouse and Norris (1989). In each case, E. haitiensis was successful, aided by one or more of the introduced coccinellids.

A biological programme in tropical Africa was described by Neuenschwander (1996), in which two exotic hymenopterous parasitoids were introduced. These helped control A. dispersus populations, with indigenous coccinellids playing a minor role. A. dispersus was observed in Benin for the first time in 1993, along with the parasitoids E. haitiensis and E. guadeloupae, which were thought to have been accidentally introduced. Between 1993 and 1996, these parasitoids helped control A. dispersus populations on guava (D'Almeida et al., 1998). E. haitiensis has been successfully introduced into Queensland, as part of the biological control of A. dispersus in Australia (Lambkin, 1998). In India, E. guadeloupae was found to be the most effective parasitoid in the reduction of A. dispersus population on cassava (Manihot esculenta) and eggplant (Solanum melongena; Boopathi, 2013) and Boopathi et al. (2015a, b) evaluated the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, Lecanicillium lecanii and Isaria fumosorosea [Cordyceps fumosorosea] were tested for their efficacy in managing the A. dispersus on cassava and eggplant in India. The fungi I. fumosorosea [C. fumosorosea] and L. lecanii exhibited promising levels of control (>70% mortality). L. lecanii at 1.33 x 107 and Verticel at 7.5 g/l were found to be most effective against A. dispersus at 7, 15 and 21 days after spraying (Mallappanavar, 2000).

 

Chemical Control

Kajita et al. (1991) described some insecticides effective against A. dispersus on soyabeans in Indonesia. However, because the whitefly has such a wide host-plant range and insecticides also impact natural enemies, chemical control is usually considered impractical and uneconomic in the long-term (Kajita et al., 1991; Lambkin, 1998). In India, Boopathi et al. (2017) described several insecticides against A. dispersus on cassava and eggplant. Acephate and triazophos were effective in controlling A. dispersus population (>90% reduction) on cassava and recorded higher tuber yield. Laprade and Cerdas (1998) evaluated insecticide treatments on banana farms in Costa Rica. Dilute aqueous solutions of soaps and detergents have also provided effective control in smallholdings, in conjunction with pruning and mulching, the latter to counter moisture loss by plants due to infestation (Anon., 1980). Chlorpyriphos at 0.04% was found to effective against A. dispersus (Dubey and Sundararaj, 2004). Contact insecticides like malathion and carbaryl at 0.10% were also found effective against young nymphs (Ragumoorthy and Kempraj, 1996). Dichlorvos 0.08% was found toxic to various stages of spiralling whitefly (Mariam, 1999).

In India, tobacco extract, neem oil, fish oil, rosin soap and detergent solution in addition to several insecticides have been found effective (Ranjith et al., 1996; Mariam, 1999; Muralikrishna, 1999; Geetha, 2000; Boopathi, 2013). Alim et al. (2017) described the toxicity of eight plant extracts and their mixtures used as insecticides in South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India and Nepal. The highest mortality (100%) of adults was recorded for neem (ethanol) extract (500 mg/L) at 6 h after topical spray. Neem (ethanol) extract mixed with crown flower (acetone), oleander (acetone), or sweet sop (ethanol) (in the ratio of 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3 for each plant extract) showed synergism. Boopathi (2013) evaluated some botanicals on cassava and eggplant in India. The neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% and azadirachtin 5.0% produced the highest mortality of A. dispersus population on eggplant and cassava.

Monitoring and Surveillance

Light traps are an appropriate tool for monitoring. A simple method for trapping large number of A. dispersus with light traps coated with vaseline was suggested by Srinivasan and Mohanasundaram (1997). Fluorescent light smeared with castor oil attracted and trapped large number of adults (Mariam, 1999). Maximum adults were attracted and caught in yellow colour sticky trap (Geetha, 2000). Boopathi (2013) described the sticky traps for attracting A. dispersus on cassava (Manihot esculenta) and eggplant (Solanum melongena). More number of adults were attracted to traps placed below crop canopy level in all the coloured sticky traps. Descending order in attraction of A. dispersus to different coloured sticky traps were yellow, transparent, red, orange, black, green, white and blue (Boopathi, 2013).

References

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Aishwariya KK, Manjunatha M, Naik MI, 2007. Biology and host range of spiralling whitefly. Karnataka Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 20(1):149-152. http://203.129.218.157/ojs/index.php/kjas/article/viewFile/47/47

Akinlosotu TA, Jackai LEN, Ntonifor NN, Hassan AT, Agyakwa CW, Odebiyi JA, Akingbohungbe AE, Rossel HW, 1993. Spiralling whitefly Aleurodicus dispersus in Nigeria. FAO Plant Protection Bulletin, 41(2):127-129

Alim, M. A., Song JangHoon, Lim UnTaek, Choi JangJeon, Hossain, M. A., 2017. Bioassay of plant extracts against Aleurodicus dispersus (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Florida Entomologist, 100(2), 350-357. doi: 10.1653/024.100.0234

Anon., 1980. Bio-control of the Spiraling whitefly. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: Biological Control Section, Plant Pest Control Branch, Department of Agriculture.

APPPC, 1987. Insect pests of economic significance affecting major crops of the countries in Asia and the Pacific region. Technical Document No. 135. Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific region (RAPA)

APPPC, 1988. Pest and disease records. Papua New Guinea. Spiralling whitefly. Quarterly Newsletter - Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission, 31(3), 24.

Asiwe, J. A. N., Dixon, A. G. O., Jackai, L. E. N., Nukenine, E. N., 2002. Investigations on the spread of the spiralling whitefly (Aleurodicus dispersus, Russell) and field evaluation of elite cassava populations for genetic resistance. African Journal of Root and Tuber Crops, 5(1), 12-17.

AVA, 2001. Diagnostic records of the Plant Health Diagnostic Services, Plant Health Centre, Agri-food & Veterinary Authority, Singapore

Awasthi, A. K., Tomar, R. K. S., 2012. First record of the spiralling whitefly on fruit and ornamental plants in Chhattisgarh plains. Insect Environment, 18(3/4), 72-73. http://www.currentbiotica.com/curl.aspx?url=Insect/Volume18/Insect-environment-vol-18(3)-(4).pdf

Beardsley, J. W., 1993. Exotic terrestrial arthropods in the Hawaiian Islands: origins and impacts. In: Micronesica [Biological Control of Exotic Pests in the Pacific. Proceedings of a Plenary Session and Symposium, XIX International Congress of Entomology, Beijing, June 1992], (No. 4 suppl) . 11-15.

Beever, R.E., Harman, H., Waipara, N., Paynter, Q., Barker, G., Burns, B., 2007. Native Flora Biosecurity Impact Assessment. Landcare Research Contract Report: LC0607/196. Lincoln, New Zealand: Manaaki Whenua.

Beevi, S. P., Lyla, K. R., Vidya, P., 1999. Report of Encarsia (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) on spiralling whitefly Aleurodicus dispersus Russell (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae). Insect Environment, 5(1), 44.

Blanco-Metzler, H., Laprade, S., 1998. Natural enemies of the spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus Russell (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae): Parasitoids and predators. (Enemigos naturales de la mosca blanca Aleurodicus dispersus Russell (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae): parasitoides y depredadores). Agronomia Mesoamericana, 9(2), 41-44.

Boopathi, T, 2008. Monitoring and management of pest complex of fruits, vegetables and spices in Mizoram. In: Annual Report of ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region 2008-2009 . Umiam, Meghalaya, India: ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region.289 pp.

Boopathi, T, 2013. Biological control and molecular characterization of spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus Russell on cassava and brinjal. Ph.D. Thesis. Tamil Nadu, India: Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

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03/10/2017 Update by:

Dr T. Boopathi, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Mizoram, India

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