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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



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%)

Parasitoids Identified Spiraling Whitefly

  • Encarsia guadaloupae

  • Encarsia noyesii

  • Aleuroctonus sp.

Predator Identified

  • Nephaspis oculata

  • Well established in Florida for > 25 years

Current situation gumbo limbo spiraling whitefly
Current Situation Spiraling WhiteflyGumbo 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 Whitefly Spiraling 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 Spiraling Whitefly

  • White wax

  • Honeydew

  • Sooty mold

Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly Spiraling Whitefly


Whitefly “nest”

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Not whitefly Spiraling Whitefly

Powdery Mildew

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Natural enemies
Natural Enemies Spiraling Whitefly

  • Wasp parasitoid, Encarsia variegata

  • Beetle predator, Nephaspis oculata

Photo: H. Glenn, UF/IFAS

Current situation
Current Situation Spiraling Whitefly

  • 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

QUESTIONS Spiraling Whitefly