Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images
- The cotton whitefly is a highly polyphagous insect, observed today on more than 300 plant species, with a prediliction for cotton, beans, sunflower, aubergine, potato, capsicum, tobacco, tomato, Citrus and various ornamental plants.
It lives on the underside of foliage, feeding on intracellular liquids and causing reddish spots on the upper surface.
A tropical and subtropical pest. It has recently been introduced into the UK and the Netherlands, living in glasshouses on ornamental plants and vegetables: capsicum and tomato.
- Adults: live on the underside of foliage, moving little, mainly during daylight hours. Cool temperatures greatly reduce their activity.
- 9 to 15 generations may occur every year. Complete development of a generation requires an accumulation of 369.5 day-degrees.
Damage is caused by the suction of plant fluids, an abundant production of honeydew and, above all, the transmission of viruses, particularly TYLCV virus, which is a persistent virus. Females are better vectors than males.
Control is based on careful elimination or control of wild host plants, pulling up sufficiently early the roots of infected tomato plants, or changing the scheduling of planting out.
Chalcid Hymenoptera, particularly of the genera Encarsia and Eretmocerus, limit populations of this whitefly.
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