Identifying characteristics- Adult
whiteflies are minute insects resembling moths, but are covered with a
white waxy powder. They are rarely more then 1-3 mm in length, and are
typically found on the underside of leaves. The immature forms have a
scale-like appearance, and are also found on the underside of foliage.
Greenhouse whitefly-Adults hold their wings flat over their bodies.
The pupa has sides that are parallel to each other with hairs covering it.
Silverleaf whitefly- This adult is a bit smaller and more
yellow. Their wings are held roof-like at about a 45° angle. The pupa
case is more domed shaped, with a few random hairs.
potato whitefly-This adult also holds its wings in a roof like
manner, with dome shaped pupa with few random hairs
Biology- Adult female whiteflies insert their eggs into leaf tissue.
A minute larval/crawler stage hatches out, and begins to feed on leaf
tissue. It does this by inserting its mouthparts into leaves and sucking
sap from the phloem. At this stage it is called a scale. It is called
this because it resembles a soft scale insect. While feeding, a sticky
waste substance is excreted by the insect (commonly called honeydew).
This liquid adheres to leaves, and provides a medium for sooty mold to
colonize and grow on. Sooty mold is black, and eventually covers leaves
and stems. This mold inhibits infected portions of the plant from
photosynthesizing, and also causes aesthetic damage. After growing
through several scale instars, the larvae finally enter a pupal stage.
Here, becoming sexually mature, whiteflies take on the adult form, and
eventually emerge as winged adults.
plants are seemingly chlorotic, causing on some plant varieties a silvery
appearance. Such plants have signs of sooty mold on steams and leaves.
Ants are often present feeding on the sugary honeydew waste droplets.
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Whitefly Pupa of the World