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Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood)
Insecta, Homoptera, Aleyrodidae .

Glasshouse whitefly, Greenhouse whitefly

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- Adult: very pale yellow, about 1mm long; the wings held relatively flat when in repose, coated with pure white waxy bloom (*) .
- Egg: approximately conical shape, 0.25 mm long. Yellowish-white when laid, it becomes purplish-grey after two days. On a short pedicel, inserted in epidermal cells.
- Nymph: pale green, oval, flat, shaped like a scale insect. At N4 it measures about 0.8mm (*) .
The pupa, is whitish, shaped like a small, oval box, with short marginal wax processes and long waxen dorsal tubes, somtimes absent on certain hosts (*) (*) .

This highly polyphagous species is capable of living on 249 genera of plants. It attacks mainly vegetables, especially the tomato, aubergine (*) and Cucurbitaceae, but also ornamental plants, with a prediliction for Asteraceae.
In cold climates, this whitefly is found only in glasshouses, while further south, it is found in the open, on both wild and cultivated plants.
- Adults congregate on younger shoots at the tips of plants; they take flight rapidly if disturbed.
- The female may lay more than 500 eggs during her life which lasts 3 to 6 weeks. Eggs are laid in a circle on smooth leaves (*) ; on hairy leaves, they are more dispersed and less regularly situated.
Shortly after laying, the eggs darken in colour; they hatch about 9 days later at 21°C.
- Newly emerged nymphs are mobile for a short period before settling to feed, their stylets inserted in leaf tissue, passing through three instars. They then cease feeding, moult and remain in a pupa for about 18 days.
- Reproduction is essentially parthenogenetic.

[R]Life Cycle
- Overwintering occurs at all instars. In northern climates, this whitefly usually lives in glasshouses on wild plants, or in summer on adjacent plants outside. Further south, adults may also overwinter on wild plants growing outdoors if the climatic conditions are not too severe.
- Reproduction occurs throughout the year when conditions are favourable, with several generations overlapping.
Under optimum conditions at 21-24°C, a cycle is completed within a little less than three weeks.

This whitefly is responsible for very severe damage: sucking of sap, production of honeydew and the consequent formation of sooty moulds. Up to 2,000 nymphs may be found on a single bean leaf, each being capable of producing 20 drops of honeydew in an hour.
Affected tomatoes cannot be sold (*) .
The species may also transmit viruses.

- This species, originating from Central America, is essentially tropical and subtropical. Introduced accidentally into western Europe, it now constitutes a major
pest in glasshouses.
- A certain resistence to synthetic insecticides has been observed, particularly amongst parthenogenetic strains.
- Populations of this whitefly are controlled by the action of entomophagous species: fungi, ladybirds, Neuropterae, chalcid Hymenoptera.
Among the latter, the endoparasite Encarsia formosa Gahan (*) is a commercially available biological control agent.

[R]Common Names
DE: Weiße Fliege der Gewächshäuser ES: Mosca blanca de invernadero, Mosca blanca de las hortalizas FR: Aleurode des serres IT: Aleirode delle serre PT: Mosca branca das estufas GB: Glasshouse whitefly, Greenhouse whitefly

[R] Images

  1. Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Onillon J.-P. / INRA Antibes)
    Colony on orange Eggs, nymphs, "pupae", exuviae and adults are present on the underside of the leaf.
  2. Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Eggs The female inserts its rostrum in the tissues to lay eggs and, using it as a pivot, deposits its eggs regularly. Whitish waxy secretions are produced during egg-laying.
  3. Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage on tomato Fruits are disfigured by the honeydew excreted by the whitefly and by the exuviae which adhere to it.
  4. Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage on eggplant Leaves are covered by honeydew and sooty moulds.
  5. Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Daumal J. / INRA Antibes)
    Parasite Female of
    Encarcia formosa (Hymenoptera) laying eggs in a "pupa" of whitefly.
  6. Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Gambier J. / INRA Antibes)
    Various nymphal stages
  7. Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Gambier J. / INRA Antibes)
    "Pupal" exuvia and droplet of honeydew
  8. Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Onillon J. / INRA Antibes)

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