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Australian Wildlife

  Silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)





Silverleaf whitefly | Bemisia tabaci photo
Silverleaf Whitefly

Image by Stephen Ausmus USDA-ARS - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Silverleaf whitefly | Bemisia tabaci photo
Silverleaf Whitefly

Image by Stephen Ausmus USDA-ARS - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



SILVERLEAF WHITEFLY FACTS

Identification
The Silverleaf whitefly is a small bug with white powdery wings held at an angle like the roof of a house. The wings do not meet at the centre, so from above the body can be seen between the wings. (The other well known whitefly pest, the Greenhouse Whitefly has wings that overlap and form a heart shape). The nymphs are pale green, oval and flat, and attach to the underside of leaves to feed. The Silverleaf whitefly is an introduced pest in Australia.

Other Names
Cotton whitefly, Poinsettia whitefly, Sweetpotato whitefly

Size
adults are 1.5mm long

Food
Feeds on a wide range of host plants - over 500 different plant species.

Breeding
Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves. The eggs are yellow-green and become dark tan when they are about to hatch. When they hatch, the nymph attach to underside of leaves. The complete life cycle from egg to adult can be as short as 18 days in summer, but longer in cooler conditions.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hemiptera
Family:Aleyrodidae
Genus:Bemisia
Species:tabaci
Common Name:Silverleaf whitefly