Bemisia tabad Gennadius Tobacco whitefly

In recent years, this tropical pest has occurred in glasshouses in both England and continental Europe, usually having been introduced on imported poinsettia plants or cuttings. In Northern Europe, it is most likely to occur on glasshouse ornamentals and on protected vegetable crops such as sweet pepper and tomato. Infested tissue becomes slightly spotted. Host plants are also contaminated by masses of sticky honeydew and sooty moulds.

BIOLOGY

Under favourable glasshouse conditions this polyphagous whitefly is capable of breeding continuously, but development from egg to adult tends to be slower than that of the glasshouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (below). Eggs are deposited singly, usually low down on the underside of the young leaves. On hatching, the first-instar nymphs wander for a short distance before becoming sedentary and beginning to feed; they pass through three instars before moulting to a non-feeding pseudo-pupal stage. Unlike T. vaporariorum, the eggs and scales are scattered on the leaves, rather than clumped together.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 1mm long, mainly white; when at rest, wings held in a relatively steep, roof-like posture (cf. Trialeurodes vaporariorum, below). Egg 0.2 mm long, pear-shaped, whitish when newly laid but later becoming brownish. Nymph flat, scale-like, mainly yellowish. Pseudo-pupa 0.7 mm long, slightly pointed posteriorly; unlike that of T. vaporariorum lacking waxen processes.

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