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CITRUS WHITEFLY

 

Dialeurodes citri Ashmead -- Aleyrodidae

 

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The citrus whitefly, of apparent Asiatic origin, has sporadically invaded citrus areas worldwide (Kennett et al. 1999).  It was a serious pest of citrus in Florida prior to 1880, but later became very serious in other Gulf Coast states.  Dialeurodes citri first appeared in California in 1907, but never became a serious pest (Kennett et al. 1999).  Citrus whitefly was found in France around 1945, and then spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin.  It is also known to occur in the Soviet Union, Turkey and Israel. 

 

Biological control attempts were begun in 1910 when the U. S. Department of Agriculture sent R. S. Woglum to Asia for natural enemies (Woglum 1913).  After 16 months of exploration, Woglum returned to Florida with cultures of Encarsia (= Prospaltella) lahorenesis (Howard) and a coccinellid, Serangium flavescens (Motschulsky), which he had found in Pakistan.  The cultures were lost due to the lack of suitable host stages for reproduction.  No attempts were made to require these natural enemies until 1968 when E. lahorensis was introduced into California by DeBach & Warner (1969).  Additional material was obtained from Florida, Hong Kong, India and Japan, which resulted in the establishment of a Encarsia sp. from India and a coccinellid Delphastus pusillus (LeConte) from Florida (Rose & DeBach 1981).  Encarsia lahorensis was shown to be capable of rapid suppression of D. citri being very efficient at low host densities.  However, it was slow to disperse.  The Encarsia sp. from India, although less responsive to host density increases, possessed superior dispersal qualities.  Encarsia lahorensis was then established in Florida in 1977 (Sailer et al. 1984).  Complete biological control was obtained.  Substantial biological control was reported in Italy where E. lahorensis was established in 1975 (Viggiani & Battaglia 1983).  This parasitoid was also established in Sardinia, Corfu and Israel, but results were not reported (Kennett et al. 1999).  In the Soviet Union E. lahorensis failed to establish, but some biological control success was obtained with an introduced parasitic fungus (Aschersonia spp.) and the coccinellid Serangium parcesetosa Sicard, from India (Shenderovskaya 1976) (also see Morrill & Back 1911, and Clausen 1978).

 

 

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

 

DeBach, P. & S. C. Warner.  1969.  Research on biological control of whiteflies.  Citrograph 54:  301-03.

 

Clausen, C. P.  1978.  Aleyrodidae.  In:  C. P. Clausen (ed.), Introduced Parasites and Predators of Arthropod Pests and Weeds:  a World Review.  U. S. Dept. Agric., Agric. Handbk. No. 480.  545 p.

 

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

 

Morrill, A. W. & E. A. Back.  1911.  White flies injurious to citrus in Florida.  U. S. Dept. Agric., Bur. Ent. Bull. 92.  109 p.

 

Rose, M. & P. DeBach.  1981.  Citrus whitefly parasites established in California.  Calif. Agric. 35(7-8):  21-3.

 

Sailer, R. I., R. E. Brown, B. Munir & J. C. E. Nickerson.  1984.  Dissemination of the citrus whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) parasite Encarsia lahorensis (Howard) (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) and its effectiveness as a control agent in Florida.  Bull. Ent. Soc. Amer. 30(2):  36-9.

 

Shenderovskaya, L. P.  1976.  Introduced insect enemies and microorganisms.  Zasch. Rast. 3:  52-3.

 

Viggiani, G. & D. Battaglia.  1983.  Experiments on the biological control of Dialeurodes citri (Ashm.) using Encarsia lahorensis (How.) at fruit-farm level, and present status of the parasite in Campania and other areas.  XIII Congresso Nazionale Italiano di Ent. p. 181-89.

 

Woglum, R. S.  1913.  Report of a trip to India and the Orient in search of the natural enemies of the citrus white fly.  U. S. Dept. Agric. Bur. Ent. Bul. 120.  58 p.