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Australian Wildlife

  Greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum)





Greenhouse whitefly | Trialeurodes vaporariorum photo
Greenhouse whitefly

Image by Gaucho - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)



GREENHOUSE WHITEFLY FACTS

Identification
Greenhouse Whitefly adults have a yellow body and white powdery wings which are held almost parallel to the body. The wings overlap and form a heart shape, and obscure the body when viewed from above. Nymphs are pale yellow-green with long hairs on the body. The nymphs are flat and scale-like. The pupa have no waxy filaments or fringe round the edge. Greenhouse Whitefly adults are larger than the similar Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) which has wings that do not meet at the centre, so from above the body can be seen between the wings.

Size
length 1.5mm

Food
The insect feeds on agricultural crops such as cotton, sunflower, avocado, beans, cabbage, capsicum, cucumber, egg plant, melon, tomato, lettuce, papaw, potato, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato. They also feed on garden ornamentals such as begonia, hibiscus and poinsettia. Adults and nymphs suck on sap and excrete honeydew, a sugary liquid that becomes infected with sooty mould fungus. Heavy infestations cause plant wilt, reduced yield and failure to set seed.

Breeding
The Greenhouse Whitefly breeds throughout the warm months. the lifecycle from egg to adult is about 5 to 7 weeks. Eggs are laid under plant leaves. The nymphs hatch from the eggs and feed on the host plant before pupating. The pupa becomes milky yellow and red eyes become visible through the pupa as the adult develops.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hemiptera
Family:Aleyrodidae
Genus:Trialeurodes
Species:vaporariorum
Common Name:Greenhouse whitefly