Siphoninus phillyreae (ash whitefly)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday, 1835)
Preferred Common Name
- ash whitefly
Other Scientific Names
- Aleurodes phylliceae Bouché, 1851
- Aleyrodes dubia Heeger, 1859
- Aleyrodes phillyreae Haliday, 1835
- Asterochiton dubius (Heeger) Quaintance & Baker, 1914
- Asterochiton phillyreae (Haliday) Quaintance & Baker, 1914
- Siphoninus dubiosa Haupt, 1932
- Siphoninus finitimus Silvestri, 1915
- Siphoninus granati Priesner & Hosny, 1932
- Siphoninus phillyreae inaequalis (Gautier) Goux, 1949
- Siphoninus phillyreae multitubulatus Goux, 1949
- Trialeurodes dubius (Heeger) Quaintance & Baker, 1915
- Trialeurodes inaequalis Gautier, 1923
- Trialeurodes phillyreae (Haliday) Quaintance & Baker, 1915
Local Common Names
- Germany: Granatapfel Mottenshildlaus; Mottenschildlaus, Granatapfel-
- Italy: aleirode del pero
- SIPOFI (Siphoninus finitimus)
- SIPOGR (Siphoninus phillyreae)
- SIPOPH (Siphoninus phillyreae)
- TRIAIN (Trialeurodes inaequalis)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
- Unknown: Aleyrodoidea
- Family: Aleyrodidae
- Genus: Siphoninus
- Species: Siphoninus phillyreae
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page Siphoninus phillyreae has a complicated taxonomic history. It was described during the first half of the nineteenth century as Aleyrodes phillyreae from Ireland (Haliday, 1835), and as Aleyrodes dubia from Germany (Heeger, 1859). Both taxa have been considered as distinct species for a long time by various authors, although Frauenfeld (1867) claimed they were synonymous. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, both species had been ascribed to the genera Asterochiton and Trialeurodes.
The genus Siphoninus was described by Silvestri (1914), who assigned the role of type species to Siphoninus finitimus (a synonym of S. phillyreae). In addition to A. dubia and S. finitimus, other synonyms of S. phillyreae are Siphoninus dubiosa, S. granati and Trialeurodes inaequalis. The number of synonyms for S. phillyreae reflects its variability regarding the number and dimensions of the dorsal tubes, the size of the vasiform orifice and the general aspect of the ridges on the floor of the vasiform orifice.
The genus Siphoninus includes four species of which two are only known through their original descriptions, based on material collected in Congo and Chad.
DescriptionTop of page A morphological description of all stages of Siphoninus phillyreae is given by Priesner and Hosny (1932) and by Habib and Farag (1970) (under the synonymous name of Siphoninus granati). Particularly detailed information about the pupal case is given by Silvestri (1914) (under the name of S. finitimus), Mound (1966), Patti and Rapisarda (1981) and Bink-Moenen and Gerling (1990).
The egg of S. phillyreae is pale yellowish, covered by a very thin layer of white wax. It is long, elliptical and almost pointed at the front, with a very short stalk. The egg is 220-240 µm long and 75-85 µm wide.
First-instar nymphs of S. phillyreae are yellowish in colour and long and elliptical in shape. They are 240-255 µm long and 145-150 µm wide. The antennae and legs are well developed and both inserted on the venter. Dorsal tubes are not present.
Second-instar nymphs are similar to the first instar in colour and shape. They are 360-410 µm long and 230-270 µm wide. The antennae and legs are strongly reduced. Four pairs of short dorsal tubes are inserted on the dorsum, one on the head, close to the eyes, and three pairs occur in the posterior half of the body.
Third-instar nymphs are whitish-yellow and oval. They are 520-610 µm long and 350-440 µm wide. The body margin is crenulate. The antennae and legs are strongly reduced. The dorsal tubes are arranged as follows: 6-9 pairs in an outer row, 2-4 pairs in a second sublateral longitudinal row, 3 pairs in a submedian row.
The fourth-instar nymphs are white, with a median longitudinal brown stripe. They are oval in shape: 0.80-1.10 mm long and 0.50-0.80 mm wide. The margin is generally smooth, except for the tracheal pores which are crenulated. There are three pairs of major dorsal setae (35-90 µm long) on the cephalic region and the first and eighth abdominal segments. The pupal case shows well-developed dorsal siphon-like tubes. The number of dorsal tubes (about 60-100 µm long) varies from 55 to nearly 100. They are arranged in three paired rows: submarginally there are about 14-19 pairs; subdorsally about 14 pairs (in a single row) to 23-26 pairs (in two scarcely distinct rows); medially there are 5-6 pairs, with a single tube on the second abdominal segment. The apex of these tubes is cup-shaped and not distinctly bifid. The vasiform orifice is rounded posteriorly, and is a little longer than it is broad. The posterior half of the internal surface has a few large areolae. The operculum occupies less than half of the orifice, showing the lingula tip, which is expanded and has no long terminal setae. The antennae and legs are strongly reduced. This is the stage used to identify whiteflies.
The adult has a yellowish body with pure white wings. The terminal segments of the abdomen, including the genitalia, are a shade of grey. The vasiform orifice is almost circular and is covered by a transverse operculum. The lingula is strongly bent upwards and narrowed towards the tip so that it is almost S-shaped in lateral view. The total body length is 0.80-1.10 mm; up to 1.40 mm including the wings. The females are usually larger than the males.
DistributionTop of page It is not easy to define the native area of Siphoninus phillyreae, which has been known for a long time to be widely distributed in Europe, the Middle East, North and Central Africa and the Indian subcontinent. The introduction of S. phillyreae into the Americas and the Australian region occurred recently. The first of these records is in California in 1988 (Sorensen et al., 1990) and soon afterwards in Venezuela (Arnal et al., 1994), Chile (Munoz and Beeche, 1995) and New Zealand (Charles and Froud, 1996). In Palaearctic environments, the distribution of S. phillyreae is limited to the south of isotherms for an average January daily temperature of between -7°C and -1°C.
The distribution map includes records based on specimens of S. phillyreae from the collection in the Natural History Museum (London, UK): dates of collection are noted in the List of countries (NHM, various dates).
Distribution TableTop of page
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.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|India||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Andhra Pradesh||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Bihar||Present||NHM, 1976; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Karnataka||Present||Mani and Krishnamoorthy, 1995; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Maharashtra||Present||NHM, 1991; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Tamil Nadu||Present||NHM, 1967; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Uttar Pradesh||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Iran||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Israel||Present||Bink-Moenen and Gerling, 1990; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Japan||Present||Kanmiya and Sonobe, 2002; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Oman||Present||NHM, 1976; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Pakistan||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; Khan et al., 1991; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Saudi Arabia||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Syria||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Turkey||Present||NHM, 1970; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Cameroon||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Egypt||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013; Abd-Rabou and Simmons, 2014|
|Eritrea||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Ethiopia||Present||NHM, 1975; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Libya||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Morocco||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|South Africa||Restricted distribution||Giliomee and Millar, 2010; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Pena, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Sudan||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Tunisia||Present||NHM, 1991; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Mexico||Present||NHM, 1992; Myartseva and Lázaro-Castellanos, 2011; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|USA||Restricted distribution||Bellows et al., 1990; Sorensen et al., 1990; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-California||Present||Bellows et al., 1990; Sorensen et al., 1990; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Florida||Restricted distribution||CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Argentina||Present||Viscarret et al., 2000; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Chile||Present||Munoz and Beeche, 1995; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Venezuela||Present||Arnal et al., 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Austria||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Bulgaria||Present||Kovlev, 1973; Kozar and Bink-Moenen, 1988; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Croatia||Present||Zanic et al., 2007; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Cyprus||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Czech Republic||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Czechoslovakia (former)||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978|
|France||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Corsica||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Germany||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Greece||Present||NHM, 1980; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Hungary||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Ireland||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Italy||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; Patti and Rapisarda, 1981; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Sicily||Present||NHM, 1985; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Netherlands||Present||Jansen and Stigter, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Poland||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Romania||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Russian Federation||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|Spain||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Spain (mainland)||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|UK||Restricted distribution||Mound and Halsey, 1978; Malumphy, 2010; Springate and Arnold, 2012; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-England and Wales||Restricted distribution||NHM, 1976; NHM, 1988; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Krymskaya Oblast||Present||NHM, 1962|
|Yugoslavia (former)||Present||Mound and Halsey, 1978; Miklos, 1987|
|Australia||Restricted distribution||CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-Australian Northern Territory||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-New South Wales||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|-South Australia||Present||NHM, 1998; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
|New Zealand||Restricted distribution||Charles and Froud, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2013|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page Siphoninus phillyreae is expected to enlarge its worldwide distribution because of its adaptability. In particular, it is expected to spread into Nearctic and Neotropical environments, where it has recently been introduced and where it has few natural enemies.
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page Siphoninus phillyreae is polyphagous on relatively hard-leaved shrubs and small trees. It feeds on plants belonging to more than ten families, though it is generally associated with the Oleaceae (Fraxinus, Olea, Phillyrea) and the Rosaceae (Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus). Lists of recorded hosts are given by Mound and Halsey (1978), Bellows et al. (1990) and Sorensen et al. (1990). S. phillyreae has been recorded on the Rutaceae (Citrus), mainly in California (Sorensen et al., 1990) and Pakistan (Khan et al., 1991). Sorensen et al. (1990) try to explain the genetic reasons for the wider trophic adaptability of S. phillyreae in the newly colonized Nearctic environments, compared with its native Palaearctic ones.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Crataegus (hawthorns)||Rosaceae||Wild host|
|Fraxinus excelsior (ash)||Oleaceae||Habitat/association|
|Fraxinus velutina (velvet ash)||Oleaceae||Habitat/association|
|Malus (ornamental species apple)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Olea europaea subsp. europaea (European olive)||Oleaceae||Other|
|Punica granatum (pomegranate)||Punicaceae||Main|
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop of page The occurrence of S. phillyreae on infested leaves is detected by the spots of sticky and transparent honeydew covering the leaf in the areas where the pests occur, as well as by the sooty mould fungus which quickly covers the honeydew. In cases of heavy infestation, the honeydew and sooty mould may cover the whole aerial part of the plant (i.e. leaves, stems, fruits), which may give the trees an almost completely black appearance.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Inflorescence / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Stems / honeydew or sooty mould|
Biology and EcologyTop of page Siphoninus phillyreae almost exclusively colonizes the leaves of host plants. The adult females oviposit on the leaves and the young larvae settle on them after inserting their mouth stylets.
S. phillyreae is polyvoltine with several generations per year. Reproduction is sexual and there are four immature instars. The first-instar crawler achieves a certain amount of dispersal; subsequent immature stages are sessile. The final immature 'pupa' feeds initially before ceasing to feed and undergoing metamorphosis. The winged adults are the main dispersive stage.
In Egypt, Priesner and Hosny (1932) report about two to three generations annually. In Sicily, three spring-summer generations have been noted on pear (Rapisarda, 1985). In California, Sorensen et al. (1990) believe that S. phillyreae has more cycles per year, with a potential generation time of 25 days (Bellows et al., 1990). S. phillyreae seems to spend winter on alternative nondeciduous host plants (Dreistadt and Flint, 1995).
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Chilocorus bipustulatus||Predator||Abd-Rabou and Simmons, 2014|
|Chrysoperla carnea||Predator||Abd-Rabou and Simmons, 2014|
|Coccinella septempunctata||Predator||Abd-Rabou and Simmons, 2014|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page Siphoninus phillyreae has a large number of natural enemies (especially in the family Aphelinidae) that keep down its numbers. In areas where it is native, S. phillyreae is usually associated with at least one predator and two to three parasitic species. The most common predator on S. phillyreae is Clitostethus arcuatus and the most common parasite is Encarsia inaron.
ImpactTop of page Siphoninus phillyreae is a severe pest on pear and apple in Europe, often leading to high crop losses. On fruit trees, S. phillyreae may reach high infestation levels in the summer as a result of pesticides used against other pests, such as the pear psyllids or the codling moth, killing its natural enemies. Sooty moulds growing on honeydew excreted by the whiteflies block light and air from the leaves, impairing photosynthesis and sometimes causing premature leaf fall. Sap depletion also debilitates the host plant.
DiagnosisTop of page To confirm the identification of Siphoninus phillyreae it may be necessary to prepare a sample of the pupal cases in a slide mount and observe them under high magnification (following the procedure suggested by various authors including Martin, 1987). An identification key is also provided by Martin (1987).
Detection and InspectionTop of page Siphoninus phillyreae is found on the leaves (especially the undersides) of host plants. Colonies of S. phillyreae may be detected by the presence of small white adults flying near the host plants or finding the nymphs on the underside of the leaves. The ovipositing females also leave a fine waxy powder, which may be arranged in circular spots, on the host plant.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page The fourth-instar 'pupae' of Siphoninus immaculatus and S. phillyreae may be distinguished by several microscopic characteristics. S. immaculatus has minute submarginal setae that do not reach the margin, those of S. phillyreae are longer and extend beyond the margin. The dorsal siphon-like tubes of S. immaculatus are bifurcate at the tip whereas those of S. phillyreae have a simple apex. In S. immaculatus, the floor of the vasiform orifice has one large terminal areola whereas that of S. phillyreae has several large subterminal areolae.
Prevention and ControlTop of page Biological Control
Biological control is important to reduce the numbers of S. phillyreae. The introduction and protection of its natural enemies plays a key role in controlling S. phillyreae infestations. In California, the introduction of natural enemies has been successful. Good results have been achieved following the release of the parasitoid Encarsia inaron (=E. partenopea) and the predator Clitostethus arcuatus (Bellows et al., 1992a,b; Gould et al., 1992).
Chemical control of S. phillyreae is usually ineffective because it only leads to temporary suppression, which is often followed by a resurgence of the pest. Chemical control should only be considered for very heavy infestations, when it is necessary to reduce the population of S. phillyreae quickly before trying to rebuild the balance with the natural enemies. The use of simple spray oils or oil emulsions should be preferred, at a concentration that ensures 1% actual oil in the spray mixture. Particular attention should be given to treating the underside of the leaves carefully, because that is where most of the nymphs are found.
ReferencesTop of page
Abd-Rabou S, Simmons AM, 2014. Survey of natural enemies of whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Egypt with new local and world records. Entomological News, 124(1):38-56. http://www.bioone.org/loi/entn
Bellows TS Jr, Paine TD, Gerling D, 1992. Development, survival, longevity, and fecundity of Clitostethus arcuatus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on Siphoninus phillyreae (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in the laboratory. Environmental Entomology, 21(3):659-663
Dreistadt SH, Flint ML, 1995. Ash whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) overwintering and biological control by Encarsia inaron (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) in northern California. Environmental Entomology, 24(2):459-464
Frauenfeld GR, 1867. Zoologische Miscellen XIII. Verh. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien, 17:793-799
Gertsson, C. A., 2018. The ash whitefly Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) a new species in Scandinavia. (Mjöllusen Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) ny art för Skandinavien). Entomologisk Tidskrift, 139(3), 197-201. http://www.sef.nu/
Giliomee JH, Millar IM, 2010. Pomegranate or ash whitefly, Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), recorded from South Africa. African Entomology, 18(1):200-202. http://journals.sabinet.co.za/essa
Gould JR, Bellows S Jr, Paine TD, 1992. Population dynamics of Siphoninus phillyreae in California in the presence and absence of a parasitoid, Encarsia partenopea. Ecological Entomology, 17(2):127-134
Habib A, Farag FA, 1970. Studies on nine common aleurodids of Egypt. Bull. Soc. Ent. Egypte, 54:1-41
Haliday AH, 1835. Aleyrodes phillyreae. Ent. Mag, 2:119-120
Heeger E, 1859. BeitrSge zur Naturgeschichte der Insekten. Naturgeschichte der Aleyrodes dubia Stephens. Sber. Akad. Wiss. Wien, 34:223-226
Malumphy C, 2010. Ash whitefly Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), damaging ornamental olive plants for the first time in Britain. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 146(1754-59):207. http://www.pemberleybooks.com
Mound LA, 1966. A revision of the British Aleyrodidae (Hemiptera: Homoptera). Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist, 17(9):397-428
Munoz GR, Beeche CM, 1995. Antecedentes sobre dos especies de reciente identificacion para Chile (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae, Aphididae). Revista Chilena de Entomologia, 22:89-91
Myartseva SN, Lázaro-Castellanos C, 2011. First record of Siphoninus phillyreae (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and its parasitoid Encarsia inaron (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) in Morelos, Mexico. (Primer registro de Siphoninus phillyreae (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) y su parasitoide Encarsia inaron (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) en Morelos, México.) Acta Zoologica Mexicana, 27(3):879-882. http://www1.inecol.edu.mx/azm/AZM27(3)-2011/N12.-%20Myartseva.pdf
Priesner H, Hosny M, 1932. Contribution to a knowledge of the White Flies (Aleurodidae) of Egypt (I). Cairo, Egypt: Bull. Minist. Agric. Egypt, tecn. and scient. Serv, Government Press
Rapisarda C, 1985. Notes on the biological behaviour of Siphoninus phillyrep (Hal.) in Sicily (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae). Atti XIV Congresso Nazionale Italiano di Entomologia sotto gli auspici dell'Accademia Nazionale Italiana di Entomologia, della Societa Entomologica Italiana e della International Union of Biological Sciences. Palermo - Erice - Bagheria, 28 maggio-1 giugno 1985 Palermo, Italy; Accademia Nazionale Italiano di Entomologia, 623-631
Silvestri F, 1914. Contributo alla conoscenza degli insetti dell'olivo dell'Eritrea e dell'Africa meridionale. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agr. R. Scuola Agric. Portici, 9:240-334
Sorensen JT, Gill RT, Dowell RV, Garrison RW, 1990. The introduction of Siphoninus phillyrep (Haliday) (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) into North America: niche competition, evolution of host plant acceptance, and a prediction of its potential range in the Nearctic. Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 66(1):43-54
Springate S, Arnold SEJ, 2012. New records of ash whitefly Siphoninus phillyreae (Halliday) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Kent. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History, 25(4):215-216. http://www.benhs.org.uk
Viscarret MM, Botto EN, Polaszek A, 2000. Whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) of economic importance and their natural enemies (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae, Signiphoridae) in Argentina. Revista Chilena de Entomología, 26:5-11
Zanic K, Vitanovic E, Kacic S, Katalinic M, 2007. Ash whitefly - a problem on olives and pears in Dalmatia. (Jasenov ?titasti moljac - problem na maslini i kru?ki u dalmaciji.) Glasilo Biljne Za?tite, 7(4):237-240
Distribution MapsTop of page
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