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Project News 06.2004

A new whitefly species emerges as
a pest of cereals in Central America

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  • Overview of Impact of Bemisia tabaci in Florida

Response 1. Bemisia tabaci became a pest in 1986 in greenhouse-grown ornamentals, primarily poinsettia and hibiscus. The insect became a pest of outdoor grown commodities beginning in 1987.

Response 2. The B. tabaci occurring in Florida causes silverleaf of squash, irregular ripening of tomato and similar disorders on ornamentals and is probably the same biotype, strain or subspecies that currently is causing serious economic damage in the Imperial Valley of California.

Response 3. The number of acres affected, extent of damage and estimated losses are presented in the following table. Where percentages are not shown, estimates losses were due primarily to costs of control (indirect losses). Where percentages are shown, estimated losses include direct losses as well as indirect losses.

Crop Affected Extent Estimated acreage of damage losses ($1,000)
Tomato 45,000 severe, virus (20%) 125.3
Cabbage 9,500 virus (10% of 1,500 acres) 2.1


12,000 severe, silverleaf (10%) 5.5


11,800 not known (*) 1.5


20,200 not known (*)1.9


800 severe, silverleaf 1.0
Potatoes 8,000 not known (*) 2.3
Eggplant 2,000 not known (*) 0.5
Peanuts 14,000 locally severe (5%) 0.2
Soybeans 1,000 locally severe (up to 20%) <0.1
Ornamentals 100 locally severe 1.0
Total 124,400 141.4

(*) The effects on these crops have not studied. Response 4. For all non-ornamental crops, growers are encouraged to avoid planting near an infested crop or weed source, to use whitefly-free transplants where applicable, to prepare fields at least one month in advance of planting, to maintain control activities during u-pick where applicable, to destroy crop refuse immediately at the end of the crop, to maintain control of volunteers during the fallow season (particularly for virus management), to scout for whitefly adults and immatures, and to apply insecticides when needed. Growers are encouraged to alternate among classes of insecticides to delay the development of insecticide resistance.

For ornamentals growers should purchase cuttings and liners that are whitefly-free, plant crops in production areas free of whiteflies, remove weeds and other nonessential plants from production area, prohibit yellow clothing and equipment from being moved with the production facility, scout for the presence of adult and immature lifestages and apply insecticides effective against the lifestage(s) found. Growers are encouraged to alternate classes of insecticides.

Insecticides that are being used and that are effective include pyrethroids, organophosphates, a chlorinated hydrocarbon, soaps and oils. The pyrethroids are most often tank-mixed with an organophosphate insecticide. Piperonyl butoxide also may be combined with the pyrethroids. Specific products are listed below with the exceptions of soaps and oils which are used on all commodities:

  • Tomato
    • Pyrethroids
    • Esfenvalerate (Asana XL)
    • Permethrin (Pounce, Ambush)
    • Fenpropathrin (Danitol-sec. 18 emergency use exemption)
    • Organophosphates
    • Methamidophos (Monitor)
    • Chlorpyrifos (Lorsban)
    • Chlorinated hydrocarbon
    • Endosulfan (Thiodan

  • Crucifers (primarily cabbage)
    • Pyrethroids
    • Esfenvalerate (Asana XL)
    • Permethrin (Pounce, Ambush)
    • Organophosphates
    • Chlorpyrifos (Lorsban)
    • Mevinphos (Phosdrin)
    • Chlorinated hydrocarbon
    • Endosulfan (Thiodan)

  • Cucurbits
    • Pyrethroids
    • Esfenvalerate (Asana XL)
    • Permethrin (Pounce, Ambush)
    • Organophosphate
    • Methamidophos (Monitor-cucumbers only)
    • Chlorinated hydrocarbon
    • Endosulfan (Thidan)

  • Potatoes, Eggplant
    • Pyrethroids
    • Esfenvalerate (Asana, XL)
    • Permethrin (Pounce, Ambush)
    • Chlorinated hydrocarbon
    • Endosulfan (Thiodan)

  • Peanuts
    • Pyrethroid
    • Esfenvalerate (Asana XL)
    • Organophosphate
    • Acephate (Orthene)

  • Soybeans
    • Pyrethroid
    • Esfenvalerate (Asana XL)

  • Ornamentals
    • Pyrethroids
    • Biphenthrin (Talstar)
    • Fenpropathrin (Tame)
    • Cyfluthrin (Tempo)
    • Organophosphates
    • Acephate (Orthene)
    • Chlorpyrifos (Dursban)
    • Sulfotepp (Plantfume 103)
    • Chlorinated hydrocarbon
    • Endosulfan (Thiodan)
    • Miscellaneous
    • Abamectin (Avid)
    • Azadirachtin (Margosan-0)

Response 5. Better cooperation and coordination among researchers and extension personnel and growers is needed regionally and nationally. National workshops or information exchange sessions would be helpful, especially since few of the individuals concerned with Bemisia are included in the current USDA workshops.

Funding for the development and implementation of regional IPM programs are needed. Funding for demonstrations of non-chemical approaches would be helpful, especially in greenhouse situations.

Registrations of new insecticides like IGR's and microbials such as fungal pathogens should be speeded up or 'fast tracked'. Incorporation of these new products into current insecticide rotation programs would help ensure more long term management through insecticide resistance management. Old products that are effective, like Zolone and Temik, should be reconsidered for re-registration.

Response 6. Estimates provided in response 3 are considered to be very conservative. They were compiled from estimates by IFAS personnel at several locations throughout the state. Indirect losses due to increased insecticidal and cultural inputs were hard to estimate since they vary from producer to producer. Furthermore, acreages of many impacted minor crops such as okra, chinese vegetables, etc. are not large and are not well-documented. Therefore, they are not included in the estimates. Problems associated with the sweetpotato whitefly and lettuce in Yuma County have not been nearly as severe as would have been predicted based on fall populations. Certain areas, such as the Dome Valley, have a high incidence of lettuce infectious yellow virus and growers expect to experience considerable reductions in lettuce yields. In contrast, other growers in the Gila Valley are cutting 750 cartons of 50 pound lettuce per acre. Most growers fall somewhere in between. Problems, where they occur, have been exacerbated by an unusually warm fall. Barring unforeseen problems, we expect to have an average year in terms of yield in a good market. The melon crop in western Arizona and western Maricopa county has been lost primarily due probably to direct feeding damage (we counted in excess of 3000 whitefly eggs per square inch) and viral pathogens. Farther east yields were considerably reduced, but markets were high. Early sets of cauliflower and broccoli were also lost due to direct feeding damage, but later sets seem to have recovered. We continue to be concerned about the poinsettia populations of the sweetpotato whitefly because of its greatly expanded host range, but refuse to make predictions about future problems based on 1991 populations. We are desperate for precise information concerning its taxonomic status. In terms of research accomplishments, Jackie Blackmer and David Byrne have shown in a flight chamber that Bemisia tabaci is capable of sustaining flight for more than 2.5 hours. A paper describing whitefly flight characteristics is being prepared. Judy Brown continues to work on defining the range and characteristics of the poinsettia population of B. tabaci. James Hagler, Al Brower and David Byrne are in the final process of selecting cell lines for the production of MAB's against B. tabaci. A large part of the credit for this project goes to Allen Cohen of the USDA - Phoenix and Deborah Bradley-Dunlop of the U of A's Hybridoma Laboratory. Donna Meade has finish her work on the use of Verticillium lecanii to control B. tabaci in greenhouses. Theo Watson's group is examining whitefly resistance. Finally, Oscar Minkenberg and Dale Cross are working on different aspects of whitefly parasitism.

The numbers in [ ] at the end of most references are the volume and abstract numbers used for each reference as it appears in Review of Applied Entomology (Series A) (published by C.A.B. International). References with a "*" by them were obtained directly from the author and generally don't have an abstract number.

Abisgold, J.D., and L.D.C. Fishpool. 1990. A Method for Estimating Population Sizes of Whitefly Nymphs (Bemisia tabaci Genn) on Cassava. Trop. Pest Manage. 36(3):287-292.

Adams, A.J., R.K. Lindquist, I.H.H. Adams, and Hall, F.R. 1991. Efficacy of Bifenthrin Against Pyrethroid-Resistant and Pyrethroid-Susceptible Populations of Glasshouse Whitefly in Bioassays and Using 3 Spray Application Methods. Crop Prot. 10(2):106-110.

Ahmad, M., A.R. Mccaffery. 1991. Elucidation of Detoxication Mechanisms Involved in Resistance to Insecticides in the 3rd Instar Larvae of a Field-Selected Strain of Helicoverpa armigera with the Use of Synergists. Pestic. Biochem. Physiol. 1991 SEP;41(1):41-52

Beevi, S.P., and M. Balasubramanian. 1991. Effect of Buprofezin on Adult Life Span, Oviposition, Egg Hatch and Progeny Production of the Cotton Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. Phytoparasitica 1991;19(1):33-47.

Byrne, D.N., and T.S. Bellows. 1991. Whitefly Biology. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 1991;36:431-457

Bethke, J.A., T.D. Paine, and G.S. Nuessly. 1991. Comparative Biology, Morphometrics, and Development of 2 Populations of Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) on Cotton and Poinsettia. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 1991 JUL;84(4):407-411.

Bharathan, N., W.R. Graves, K.R. Narayanan, D.J. Schuster, H.H. Bryan, and R.T. Mcmillan. 1990. Association of Double-Stranded RNA with Whitefly-Mediated Silvering in Squash. Plant Pathol. 1990 SEP;39(3):530-538.

Butler, G.D., and T.J. Henneberry. 1991. Sweetpotato Whitefly Control - Effect of Tomato Cultures and Plant Derived Oils. Southwest Entomologist 1991 MAR;16(1):37-43.

Butler, G.D., and T.J. Henneberry. 1991. Effect of Oil Sprays on Sweetpotato Whitefly and Phytotoxicity on Watermelons, Squash and Cucumbers. Southwest Entomologist 1991 MAR;16(1):63-72.

Butler, G.D., and T.J. Henneberry. 1990. Cottonseed Oil and Safer Insecticidal Soap - Effects on Cotton and Vegetable Pests and Phytotoxicity. Southwest Entomologist 1990 SEP;15(3):257-264.

Butler, G.D., and T.J. Henneberry. 1991. Sweetpotato Whitefly Control - Effect of Tomato Cultures and Plant Derived Oils. Southwest Entomologist 1991 MAR;16(1):37-43.

Byrne, F.J., and A.L. Devonshire. 1991. In Vivo Inhibition of Esterase and Acetylcholinesterase Activities by Profenofos Treatments in the Tobacco Whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Genn) - Implications for Routine Biochemical Monitoring of These Enzymes. Pestic. Biochem. Physiol. 1991 JUL;40(3):198-204.

Byrne, D.N., and T.S. Bellows. 1991. Whitefly Biology. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 1991;36:431-457.

Cohen, J., and G. Loebenstein. 1991. Role of a Whitefly-Transmitted Agent in Infection of sweetpotato by Cucumber Mosaic Virus. Plant Dis. 1991 MAR;75(3):291-292.

Cohen, J., and G. Loebenstein. 1991. Role of a Whitefly-Transmitted Agent in Infection of sweetpotato by Cucumber Mosaic Virus. Plant Dis. 1991 MAR;75(3):291-292.

Cohen, S., J.E. Duffus, H.Y., and Perry R. Liu. 1991. Induction of Silverleaf of Squash by Bemisia Whitefly from California Desert Whitefly Populations. Plant Dis. 1991 AUG;75(8):862.

Costa, H.S., J.K. Brown, and D.N. Byrne. 199I. Host Plant Selection by the Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), (Hom, Aleyrodidae) Under Greenhouse Conditions. J. Appl. Entomol. 1991 AUG;112(2):146-152.

Costa, H.S., J.K. Brown, and D.N. Byrne. 1991. Host Plant Selection by the Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), (Hom, Aleyrodidae) Under Greenhouse Conditions. J. Appl. Entomol. 1991 AUG;112(2):146-152.

Costa, H.S., J.K. Brown, and D.N. Byrne. 1991. Host Plant Selection by the Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), (Hom, Aleyrodidae) Under Greenhouse Conditions. J. Appl. Entomol. 1991 AUG;112(2):146-152.

Costa, H.S., J.K. Brown, and D.N. Byrne. 1991. Life History Traits of the Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) on 6 Virus-Infected or Healthy Plant Species. Environ. Entomol. 1991 AUG;20(4):1102-1107.

Dittrich, V., G.H. Ernst, O. Ruesch, and S. Uk. 1990. Resistance Mechanisms in Sweetpotato Whitefly (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) Populations from Sudan, Turkey, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. J. Econ. Entomol. 1990 OCT;83(5):1665-1670.

Espelie, K.E., E.A. Bernays, and J.J. Brown. 1991. Plant and Insect Cuticular Lipids Serve As Behavioral Cues for Insects. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 1991;17(4):223-233.

Gold, C.S., M.A. Altieri, and A.C. Bellotti. 1991. Survivorship of the Cassava Whiteflies Aleurotrachelus socialis and Trialeurodes variabilis (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) Under Different Cropping Systems in Colombia. Crop Prot. 1991 AUG;10(4):305-309.

Gupta, G.P. and K.N. Katiyar. 1991. Bioefficacy of Tank-Mix Insecticides for Control of Bollworm Complex (Earias spp and Pectinophora gossypiella) and Impact on Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) in Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Indian J. Agr. Sci. 1991 JUL;61(7):531-534

Harrison, B.D., V. Muniyappa, M.M. Swanson, I.M. Roberts, and D.J. Robinson. 1991. Recognition and Differentiation of 7 Whitefly-Transmitted Geminiviruses from India, and Their Relationships to African Cassava Mosaic and Thailand Mung Bean Yellow Mosaic Viruses. Ann. Appl. Biol. 1991 APR;118(2):299-308.

Hoelmer, K.A., L.S. Osborne, and R.K. Yokomi. 1991. Foliage Disorders in Florida Associated with Feeding by Sweetpotato Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. Fla. Entomol. 1991 MAR;74(1):162-166.

Immaraju, J.A., J.G. Morse, and L.K. Gaston. 1990. Mechanisms of Organophosphate, Pyrethroid, and DDT Resistance in Citrus Thrips (Thysanoptera, Thripidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 1990 OCT;83(5):1723-1732.

Kapadia, M.N.,and S.N. Puri. 1990. Feeding Behaviour of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) on the Parasitized Pupae of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius). Entomon. 1990 DEC;15(3-4):283-284.

Kapadia, M.N., and S.N. Puri. 1990. Development, Relative Proportions and Emergence of Encarsia transvena (Timberlake) and Eretmocerus mundus Mercet, Important Parasitoids of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius). Entomon. 1990 DEC;15(3-4):235-239.

Larsen, R.C., K.S. Kim, and H.A. Scott. 1991. Properties and Cytopathology of Diodia Vein Chlorosis Virus - A New Whitefly-Transmitted Virus. Phytopathology 1991 FEB;81(2):227-232.

McCreight, J.D., and A.N. Kishaba. 1991. Reaction of Cucurbit Species to Squash Leaf Curl Virus and Sweetpotato Whitefly. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 1991 JAN;116(1):137-141.

Meade, D.L., and D.N. Byrne. 1991. The Use of Verticillium lecanii Against Subimaginal Instars of Bemisia tabaci. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 1991 MAR;57(2):296-298.

Michelakis, S.E. 1990. A New Approach to Whitefly Control in Crete - Greece. Pesticides and Alternatives: Innovative Chemical and Biological Approaches to Pest Control 1990;:229-234.

Navon, A., V. Melamedmadjar, and M. Zur. 1991. Effects of a Primitive Cotton Accession on Feeding of Spodoptera littoralis and Helicoverpa armigera and on Oviposition of Bemisia tabaci. Phytoparasitica 1991;19(2):143-147.

Navon, A., V. Melamedmadjar, M. Zur, and E. Benmoshe. 1991. Effects of Cotton Cultivars on Feeding of Heliothis armigera and Spodoptera littoralis Larvae and on Oviposition of Bemisia tabaci. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 1991 MAR;35(1):73-80.

Oetting, R.D., and A.L. Anderson. 1990. Imidacloprid for Control of Whiteflies, Trialeurodes vaporariorum and Bemisia tabaci, on Greenhouse Grown Poinsettias. Brighton Crop Protection Conference - Pests and Diseases, 1990 : Proceedings 1990;:367-372.

Parrella, M.P., T.D. Paine, J.A. Bethke, K.L. Robb, and J. Hall. 1991. Evaluation of Encarsia formosa (Hymenoptera, Aphelinidae) for Biological Control of Sweetpotato Whitefly (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) on Poinsettia. Environ. Entomol. 1991 APR;20(2):713-719.

Pickford, R.J.J., and I.C. Mathieson. 1990. Starch-Dextrin Solution As a Novel Control Method for 2 Spotted Mite (Tetranychus urticae) and Powdery Mildew (Sphaerotheca fuliginea) on Cucumber and Whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) on Tobacco. Brighton Crop Protection Conference - Pests and Diseases, 1990 : Proceedings 1990;:361-366.

Polston, J.E., A. Almusa, T.M. Perring, and J.A. Dodds. 1990. Association of the Nucleic Acid of Squash Leaf Curl Geminivirus with the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Phytopathology 1990 SEP;80(9):850-856.

Price, J.F., and D.J. Schuster. 1991. Effects of Natural and Synthetic Insecticides on Sweetpotato Whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) and Its Hymenopterous Parasitoids. Fla. Entomol. 1991 MAR;74(1):60-68.

Purohit, M.S., and A.D. Deshpande. 1991. Effect of Inorganic Fertilizers and Insecticides on Population Density of Cotton Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci). Indian J. Agr. Sci. 1991 SEP;61(9):696-698.

Rao, N.V., A.S. Reddy, R. Ankaiah, Y.N. Rao, and S.M. Khasim. 1990. Incidence of Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) in Relation to Leaf Characters of Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Indian J. Agr. Sci. 1990 SEP;60(9):619-624.

Ravensberg, W.J., M. Malais, and D.A. Vanderschaaf. 1990. Verticillium lecanii As a Microbial Insecticide Against Glasshouse Whitefly. Brighton Crop Protection Conference - Pests and Diseases, 1990 : Proceedings 1990;:265-268.

Regu, K., and B.V. David. 1990. Brachisphora elongatus Sp-Nov (Alyrodidae, Homoptera) A New Species of Whitefly from India. Entomon. 1990 DEC;15(3-4):277-279.

Regu, K., and B.V. David. 1990. A New Species of Bemisia (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) from India with a Key to Indian Species. Entomol. 1991 MAR;16(1):77-81.

Roditakis, N.E. 1990. Effectiveness of Buprofezin, Flufenoxuron, Ethofenprox and Mixtures of Quinomethionate with Pyrethroids on Greenhouse Whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae). Pesticides and Alternatives: Innovative Chemical and Biological Approaches to Pest Control 1990;:235-247.

Rowland, M.W., B. Hackett, M.F. Stribley, and R.M. Sawicki. 1990. The Cotton-Whitefly Field Control Simulator - Laboratory Apparatus for Evaluating Insecticides and Resistance Management Strategies Under Simulated Field Conditions. Brighton Crop Protection Conference - Pests and Diseases, 1990 : Proceedings 1990;:1195-1200.

Rowland, M., B. Hackett, and M. Stribley. 1991. Evaluation of Insecticides in Field-Control Simulators and Standard Laboratory Bioassays Against Resistant and Susceptible Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) from Sudan. Bull. Entomol. Res. 1991 JUN;81(2):189-199.

Schuster, D.J., T.F. Mueller, J.B. Kring, and J.F. Price. 1990. Relationship of the Sweetpotato Whitefly to a New Tomato Fruit Disorder in Florida. HortScience 1990 DEC;25(12):1618-1620.

Schuster, D.J., J.B. Kring, and J.F. Price. 1991. Association of the Sweetpotato Whitefly with a Silverleaf Disorder of Squash. Hortscience 1991 FEB;26(2):155-156.

Stanley, D. 1991. Whitefly Causes Bleak Times for Growers - Producers Face Whole Armies of Tiny, Disease-Spreading Marauders. Agr. Res. 1991 JAN;39(1):16-17.

Sudhakar, K., and M.D. Paul. 1991. Efficacy of Conventional Insecticides for Control of Cotton Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) and Gram-Podborer (Heliocoverpa armigera) on Cotton (Gossypium Species). Indian J. Agr. Sci. 1991 SEP;61(9):685-687.

Xu, R.M. 1991. Improvements of the Plant-Pest-Parasitoid (PPP) Model and Its Application of Whitefly-Encarsia Population Dynamics Under Different Release Methods. J. Appl. Entomol. 1991 SEP;112(3):274-287.

Yassin, K.M., N.H.H. Bashir, and B.H. Gadalla. 1990. Effects of Endosulfan, Chlorpyrifos and Their Mixtures on Bemisia tabaci of Sudan-Gezira. Trop. Pest Manage. 1990 JUL-SEP;36(3):230-233.

Yasui, M., T. Nishimatu, M. Fukada, and S. Maekawa. 1991. Long-Term Suppressive Effect of Buprofezin on Population Growth of the Green-House Whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae). Appl. Entomol. Zool. 1991 MAY;26(2):271-274.

Yokomi, R.K., K.A. Hoelmer, and L.S. Osborne. 1990. Relationships Between the Sweetpotato Whitefly and the Squash Silverleaf Disorder. Phytopathology 1990 OCT;80(10):895-900.

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