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CITRUS BLACKFLY

 

Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby -- Aleyrodidae

 

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This whitefly is thought to be endemic in tropical and subtropical Asia, from where it spread to Africa, The Seychelles Islands, Central America, The West Indies, northern South America and Texas and Florida in the United States (Clausen 1978).  Kennett et al. (1999) report that although A. woglumi was in Jamaica in 1913 from where it spread to Cuba in 1916, Panama in 1917 and Costa Rica in 1919, biological control efforts did not begin until the late 1920's after Silvestri (1926, 1928) published on the parasitoids of Aleyrodidae in Asia.  Exploration in southern Asia began in 1929-31, were several natural enemy species were found and sent from Malaya to Cuba (Clausen & Berry 1932).  Eretmocerus serius Silvestri was discovered first, and it became established after release.  Later attempts with Encarsia (= Prospaltella) divergens (Silvestri) and Encarsia smithi (Silvestri) did not succeed.  The Sumatran coccinellids Catana clauseni Chapin and Scymnus smithianus Clausen & Berry, established in 1930, and although Catana nearly eradicated the blackfly, it could not persist at low prey densities and was eventually displaced by E. serius.  Clausen (1978) reported that C. clauseni was apparently nonexistent in Cuba after 1951.  Eretmocerus serius was then introduced into Jamaica, the Bahamas, Haiti, Costa Rica, Barbados, the Seychelles, Kenya and South Africa during 1931-59, with generally very good results.

 

In 1935 Aleurocanthus woglumi was discovered in Mexico, and biological control efforts imported E. serius from the Canal Zone.  It did not establish, but was reintroduced in 1943 with success (Kennett et al. 1999).  Control was not as good as in Cuba and other parts of the West Indies, except in areas with perpetual high RH.  Therefore explorations were extended in Asia during 1948-50.  Introductions involved Encarsia divergens and Encarsia smithi, from Malaya in 1948, which did not establish.  Explorations in India and Pakistan in 1949-50 resulted in the shipment of eight parasitoids and two predators to Mexico (Smith et al. 1964).  Encarsia smithi, Encarsia clypealis (Silvestri), Encarsia opulenta (Silvestri) and Amitus hesperidum Silvestri became established.  Some control was displayed by each one of these parasitoids as they became established (Clausen 1978).  Encarsia smithi seemed to be the best species, becoming dominant over E. serius.  Later it in turn was dominated by the other three species (Kennett et al. 1999).  Amitus hesperidum was adapted to a greater number of Mexican climatic zones and was very rapid in reducing blackfly infestations.  As A. woglumi became more scarce, A. hesperidum was dominated by E. clypealis and E. opulenta.  This order of dominance was explained by Flanders (1969) on the basis of the parasitoids' reproductive strategies as they influenced interspecific competition.  Climatic conditions determined the spatial distribution of the three dominant species.  Therefore, E. opulenta was the overall most effective parasitoid, especially in arid regions, while E. clypealis was effective in humid areas.  Amitus hesperidum was least effective, especially in warm arid areas. 

 

Encarsia opulenta and/or E. serius were sent to other countries as well.  Quezada (1974) reports from El Salvador, Wheatley (1964) from Kenya, Bedford & Thomas (1965) from South Africa and Anonymous (1978) report from Venezuela.  Pshorn-Walcher & Bennett (1967 = Kennett et al. 1999) reported on the work in Barbados, Dowell et al. (1979) from Florida and Summy et al. (1983) from Texas.  All resulted in excellent biological control with either one or both parasitoids.  Whenever multiple species were introduced, E. opulenta became dominant.  In Jamaica the introduction of E. opulenta produced overall better biological control than when only E. serius was present (van Whervin 1968) (also see Edwards 1932, Clausen 1934, Delgado 1943, Richardson 1948, Shaw 1950, Abbas et al. 1955, Smith 1958, Smith et al. 1964, Jimenez 1963, 1965; Jimenez & Carillo 1968, Bennett & van Whervin 1966, Pschorn-Walcher 1967).

 

 

REFERENCES:          [Additional references may be found at:   MELVYL Library ]

 

Anonymous.  1978.  Pest control:  the case of the black fly shows the effectiveness of biological control.  Noticias Agricolas 8:  51-52.

 

Abbas, H. M., M. S. Khan & H. Haque.  1955.  Black fly of citrus (Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby) in Sind and its control.  Agric. Pakistan 6:  5-23.

 

Bedford, E. C. G. & E. D. Thomas.  1965.  Biological control of the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi (Ashby) (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in South Africa.  J. Ent. Soc. So. Afr. 28:  117-32.

 

Bennett, F. D. & L. W. van Whervin.  1966.  Occurrence of the citrus black fly in Barbados.  Agric. Soc. Trinidad Tobago J. 66:  31-4.

 

Clausen, C. P.  1934.  The natural enemies of Aleyrodidae in tropical Asia.  Philippine J. Sci. 53:  253-65.

 

Clausen, C. P.  1978.  Aleyrodidae.  In:  Introduced Parasites and Predators of Arthropod Pests and Weeds.  U. S. Dept. Agric. Agric. Handbk. No. 480, Washington, D.C.  545 p.

 

Clausen, C. P. & P. A. Berry.  1932.  The citrus blackfly in Asia, and the importation of its natural enemies into tropical America.  U. S. Dept. Agric. Tech. Bull. No. 320.  58 p.

 

Delgado, D Garay, A.  1943.  Control biológico de la mosca prieta de los cítricos en la repçblica.  Fitofilo 5:  1-17.

 

Dowell, R. V., G. E. Fitzpatrick & J. A. Reinert.  1979.  Biological control of citrus blackfly in southern Florida.  Environ. Ent. 8:  595-97.

 

Edwards, W. H.  1932.  Importation into Jamaica of a parasite (Eretmocerus serius Silv.) of the citrus black fly (Aleurocanthus woglumi Ash.).  Jamaica Dept. Sci. & Agric. Ent. Bull. 6.  12 p.

 

Flanders, S. E.  1969.  Herbert Smith's observations on citrus blackfly parasites in India and Mexico and the correlated circumstances.  Canad. Ent. 101:  467-80.

 

Jimenez-Jimenez, E.  1963.  Control biológico de la mosca prieta en México.  Fitofilo 16:  6-41.

 

Jimenez-Jimenez, E.  1965.  Situación de la mosca prieta de los cítricos en México.  Fitofilo 16:  6-41.

 

Jimenez-Jimenez, E. & T. R. Carillo.  1968.  La campaña contra la mosca prieta de los cítricos, Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby.  Fitofilo 60:  23-8.

 

Kennett, C. E., J. A. McMurtry & J. W. Beardsley.  1999.  Biological control in subtropical and tropical crops.  In:  Bellows, T. S. & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p

 

Pschorn-Walcher, H.  1967.  Citrus blackfly (Aleurocanthus woglumi), p. 72.  In:  F. J. Simmonds (ed.), Report of Work Carried Out During 1966.  Commonwealth Inst. Biol. Control. 86 p.

 

Pschorn-Walcher, H. & F. D. Bennett.  1967.  The successful biological control of citrus blackfly [Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby] in Barbados, West Indies.  PANS A13:  375-84.

 

Quezada, J. R.  1974.  Biological control of Aleurocanthus woglumi (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in El Salvador.  Entomophaga 19:  243-54.

 

Richardson, C. H.  1948.  Present status of the citrus blackfly and its parasite, Eretmocerus serius at Nassau, Bahamas.  J. Econ. Ent. 41:  980.

 

Shaw, J. G.  1950.  Eretmocerus serius as a parasite of the citrus blackfly in Mexico.  J. Econ. Ent. 43:  380-82.

 

Silvestri, F.  1926.  Descrizione di tre specie di Prospaltella e di una di Encarsia (Hym., Chalcididae) parasite di Aleurocanthus (Aleyrodidae).  Eos 2:  179-89.

 

Silvestri, F.  1928.  Contribuzione alla conoscenza degli Aleurodidae (Insecta: Hemiptera) viveti su citrus in estremo oriente e dei lora parassite.  Boll. Lab. Zool. Portici 21:  1-60.

 

Smith, H. D.  1958.  Las interelaciones de los enemigos naturales de la mosca prieta de los cítricos en México.  Fitofilo 11:  31-6.

 

Smith, H. D., H. L. Maltby & J. E. Jimenez.  1964.  Biological control of the citrus blackfly in Mexico.  U. S. Dept. Agric. Tech. Bull. 1311.  30 p.

 

Summy, K. R., F. E. Gilstrap, W. G. Hart, J. M. Caballero & I. Saenz.  1983.  Biological control of citrus blackfly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in Texas.  Environ. Ent. 12:  782-86.

 

van Whervin, L. W.  1968.  The introduction of Prospaltella opulenta Silvestri into Jamaica and its competitive displacement of Eretmocerus serius Silvestri.  PANS A14:  456-64.

 

Wheatley, P. E.  1964.  The successful establishment of Eretmocerus serius Silv. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in Kenya.  E. Africa Agric. For. J.                   29: 236.