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SPINY BLACKFLY

 

Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintance) -- Aleurodidae

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One of the best examples of a biological control success, this project was casually arranged on a cooperative basis and apparently did not sustain any cost (DeBach 1974).  Drs. I. Kuwana and T. Ishii discovered this blackfly near Nagasaki in Japan around 1922, although it most likely had been present earlier and was spreading for some time.  Within a few years it became one of the serious pests of citrus trees in the southern island of Kyushu.  Fumigation and insecticide treatments failed to control the pest.

 

There were no effective natural enemies in Japan and it was believed that the pest originated in south China, which is in the native range of citrus and where the spiny blackfly was known to occur.  Entomologists and horticulturalists were planning to search for natural enemies in China when Dr. F. Silvestri of Portici, Italy, who was on a temporary foreign exploration for the University of California to find parasitoids of the California red scale, visited Japan.  At that time the Japanese requested that he try to find the spiny blackfly upon his return to the Asiatic mainland.

 

Silvestri discovered a parasitoid, Prospaltella smithi Silvestri and a ladybird beetle, Cryptognatha sp., both of which he brought with him on his second visit to Nagasaki on May 23, 1925.  These were colonized on heavily infested trees in the village of Ikiriki, near Nagasaki.  There were only 20 parasitoids and 10 beetles involved.  The beetles did not establish, but the parasitoids reproduced so that by November, adult parasitoids were easily found on the leaves of the original release tree.  However, because Nagasaki has a colder winter than Canton, China, it was feared that the parasitoids might not overwinter successfully.  However, by June 1926 parasitoid activity was observed on the release tree, and 74% of the whitefly pupae showed exit holes from which adult parasitoids had emerged.  They spread rapidly and were aided by distribution of leaves bearing parasitized pupae, so that within a short time the pest was almost completely eliminated (Kuwana 1934).  DeBach (1974) maintained that the control remained perfect to the 1970's.

 

Please also see Sawada et al. (1932), Peterson (1955), Watanabe (1958) and Smith et al. (1964) for additional details on biological control efforts and the biologies of host and natural enemies.  Also <ch-81.htm>

 

 

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

 

 

DeBach, P.  1974.  Biological Control by Natural Enemies.  Cambridge University Press, London & New York.  323 p.

 

Kuwana, I.  1934.  Notes on a newly imported parasite of the spiny whitefly attacking citrus in Japan.  Proc. 5th (1933) Pacific Science Congress 5:  3521-3.

 

Peterson, G. D., Jr.  1955.  Biological control of the orange spiny whitefly in Guam.  J. Econ. Ent. 48:  681-83.

 

Sawada, E., N. Ikeda & K. Tanaka.  1932.  Studies on Prospaltella smithi Silv., and enemy of Aleurocanthus spiniferus Quaint.  Japan Dept. Agric. & Forestry Bur. Agric. Materials for Agric. Impr. 42:  1-28 [in Japanese; Abs. in REv. Appl. Ent. (A), 20:  495.]

 

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. [may mention whitefly].

 

Watanabe, C.  1958.  Review of biological control of insect pests in Japan.  Proc. 10th Intern. Congress Ent., Monteral 4:  515-17.