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In Service Training University of Florida IFAS March 12, 2013. Whiteflies . IST Organizers. Catharine Mannion , Tropical Research and Education Center Lance Osborne , Mid-Florida Research and Education Center William Schall , Palm Beach County Extension

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In Service Training

University of Florida IFAS

March 12, 2013


Ist organizers

IST Organizers

  • Catharine Mannion, Tropical Research and Education Center

  • Lance Osborne, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center

  • William Schall, Palm Beach County Extension

  • Eileen Buss, Dept. of Entomology and Nematology



  • Whiteflies are NOTflies

  • Piercing-sucking mouthparts – both adults and nymphs feed

  • Excrete honeydew

  • Some species transmit viruses

  • Some species produce waxy substances

  • Host range – single to multiple hosts

Adult whiteflies

Adult Whiteflies

  • Small, white, “moth-like” in appearance

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Whitefly nymphs

Whitefly Nymphs

  • More variable in appearance than adults

  • Resemble “scale insects”

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Whitefly introductions

Whitefly Introductions

2007 - Ficus Whitefly

2009 – Rugose Spiraling Whitefly

2011 – Bondar’s

Nesting Whitefly

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Ficus whitefly singhiella simplex hemiptera aleyrodidae

Ficus WhiteflySinghiella simplex (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

  • Only feeds on ficus species

  • Introduced in 2007

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Photo: A. Roda, USDA APHIS

Ficus whitefly damage

Ficus Whitefly - Damage

  • Causes leaf yellowing

  • Leaf drop (severe)

  • Branch dieback (highly variable)

Photo: H. Glenn, and C. Mannion, UF/IFAS

Ficus whitefly life cycle

Ficus WhiteflyLife Cycle

Adult Whitefly

(2-4 days)


(10 days)

Constant temperature (80º F)


4th instar – puparia

(5.8 days)

1st instar – crawler

(4.2 days)


2nd-3rd instars – nymphs

2nd instar – 3.7 days; 3rd instar – 3. 3 days

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Ficus whitefly immature stages

Ficus Whitefly Immature Stages

  • The immature stages (typically found on the underside of leaves) tend to be flat, oval and can vary in color or transparent

  • The pupal case is often one of the most visible stages

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Natural enemies observed i n the landscape

Natural Enemies Observed in the Landscape

Encarsia protransvena

Amitus bennetti

Harmonia axyridis

Olla v-nigrum

Exochomus childreni

Chilocorus nigritis

Curinus coeruleus

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Effect of temperature on length of life cycle of ficus whitefly

Effect of Temperature on Length of Life Cycle of Ficus Whitefly




Mean Number Live Adults per Sticky Trap




Current situation ficus whitefly

Current SituationFicus Whitefly

  • Spreading and increasing in other areas (moving North) but will be limited by its host plant (ficus)

  • Numerous natural enemies established

  • Nuisance “factor”

    • Loss of aesthetics and privacy (ficus)

    • Overall hysteria – leads to bad decisions

  • Heavy reliance on systemic insecticides

  • “Ficus” decline

  • Whitefly populations are decreasing in some initial areas

Continued ficus decline

Continued Ficus Decline

Whiteflies Present

  • Insecticide Resistance

  • Viruses/bacteria/toxins

  • Low use rates

  • Drought or other environmental conditions

Whiteflies Not Present

  • Cumulative stress

  • Nutrition

  • Disease

    • Phomopsis and Diaporthe – cause branch dieback under stress conditions

Gumbo limbo spiraling whitefly aleurodicus rugioperculatus

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly

Gumbo Limbo Spiraling WhiteflyAleurodicus rugioperculatus

  • First found in Miami on gumbo limbo, Bursera simaruba,Spring 2009

  • Known in Belize, Mexico and Guatemala

  • Adult is relatively large and docile

  • Produces excessive honeydew and wax

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

White waxy substance

White, waxy substance

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Honeydew and sooty mold

Honeydew and sooty mold

Photos: H. Glenn and C. Mannion UF/IFAS

Honeydew and sooty mold1

Honeydew and sooty mold

Photos: K. Gabel, Monroe County Extension and C. Mannion and UF/IFAS






1st Instar


2nd Instar

4th Instar

3rd Instar

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Rugose spiraling whitefly spiraling eggs

Rugose Spiraling WhiteflySpiraling Eggs

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Host plants for rugose spiraling whitefly

Host Plants for Rugose Spiraling Whitefly

  • At least 90 different host species (34 plant families)

  • 60% of samples sent for ID are from 9 host plants

    • Gumbo limbo (17%)

    • Coconut (10%)

    • Calophyllum spp. (10%)

    • Avocado (9%)

    • Black olive (5%)

    • Pigmy date palm (3%)

    • Bird of Paradise(2%)

    • Christmas palm (2%)

    • Mango (2%)

Effect of temperature on the life cycle of the rugose spiraling whitefly

Effect of Temperature on the Life Cycle of the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly


Parasitoids Identified

  • Encarsia guadaloupae

  • Encarsia noyesii

  • Aleuroctonus sp.

Predator Identified

  • Nephaspis oculata

  • Well established in Florida for > 25 years

Current situation gumbo limbo spiraling whitefly

Current SituationGumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly

  • Whitefly populations are increasing and spreading

  • A couple of natural enemies established

    • Ongoing efforts for new natural enemies and release systems

  • Nuisance “factor”

    • Loss of aesthetics – “messy” situation

    • Affecting pools, ponds etc.

    • Tree removal

    • Overall hysteria – leads to bad decisions

  • Heavy reliance on systemic insecticides

Bondar s nesting whitefly paraleyrodes bondari

Bondar’s Nesting WhiteflyParaleyrodes bondari

  • First detected in Dec 2011

  • Three other species known in Florida

  • Not known as economic pest

  • Often seen with Rugose spiraling whitefly

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Bondar s nesting whitefly

Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly

  • White wax

  • Honeydew

  • Sooty mold


Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly


Whitefly “nest”

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS


Not whitefly

Powdery Mildew

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Natural enemies

Natural Enemies

  • Wasp parasitoid, Encarsia variegata

  • Beetle predator, Nephaspis oculata

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Current situation

Current Situation

  • Impact of this whitefly is unknown

  • Commonly found on ficus

  • Often found in association with other whiteflies (i.e. particularly Rugose spiraling whitefly)

  • Some natural enemies identified

  • Nuisance “factor”

    • Typically not as messy as Rugose spiraling whitefly

  • Heavy reliance on systemic insecticides



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