Cookies on Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.

 

Continuing to use www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Your search results

Species Page

silverleaf whitefly

Bemisia tabaci (MED)
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.

Distribution

You can pan and zoom the map
Save map
Select a dataset
Map Legends
  • CABI Summary Records
Map Filters
Extent
Invasive
Origin
Third party data sources:

Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Brassica
Brassica oleracea var. botrytis (cauliflower)
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)
Carica papaya (pawpaw)
Cucurbita (pumpkin)
Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia)
Fabaceae (leguminous plants)
Gossypium hirsutum (Bourbon cotton)
Lactuca sativa (lettuce)
Myrtaceae
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)
Origanum majorana (sweet marjoram)
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)
Solanum melongena (aubergine)

List of symptoms / signs

Leaves - abnormal colours
Leaves - abnormal leaf fall
Leaves - abnormal patterns
Leaves - fungal growth
Leaves - honeydew or sooty mould
Leaves - necrotic areas
Leaves - wilting
Leaves - yellowed or dead
Stems - honeydew or sooty mould
Whole plant - early senescence

Symptoms

Early indication of infestation may consist of chlorotic spots caused by larval feeding, which may also be disfigured by honeydew and associated sooty moulds. Leaf curling, yellowing, mosaics or yellow-veining may also indicate the presence of whitefly-transmitted viruses. These symptoms are also observed in B. tabaci infestations, however phytotoxic responses such as a severe silvering of courgette and melon leaves, mis-ripening of tomato fruits, stem whitening of brassicas and yellow veining of some solanaceous plants may also be seen (Costa et al., 1993; Secker et al., 1998).

The feeding of adults and nymphs causes chlorotic spots to appear on the surface of the leaves. Depending on the level of infestation, these spots may coalesce until the whole of the leaf is yellow, apart from the area immediately around the veins. Such leaves are later shed. The honeydew produced by the feeding of the nymphs covers the underside of leaves and can cause a reduction in photosynthetic potential when colonized by moulds. Honeydew can also disfigure flowers and, in cotton, can cause problems in lint processing. Following heavy infestations, plant height, the number of internodes, and yield quality and quantity can be affected, for example, in cotton.

Phytotoxic responses in many plant and crop species caused by larval feeding include severe silvering of courgette leaves, white stems in pumpkin, white streaking in leafy Brassica crops, uneven ripening of tomato fruits, reduced growth, yellowing and stem blanching in lettuce and kai choy (Brassica campestris) and yellow veining in carrots and honeysuckle (Lonicera) (Bedford et al., 1994a,b).

A close observation of leaf undersides will show tiny, yellow to white larval scales. In severe infestations, when the plant is shaken, numerous small and white adult whiteflies will emerge in a cloud and quickly resettle. These symptoms do not appreciably differ from those of Trialeurodes vaporariorum, the glasshouse whitefly, which is common throughout Europe.

Prevention and control

Cultural Control

Intercropping practices using non-hosts have been used in many countries aiming to reduce numbers of whiteflies on specific crops. However, intercropping with susceptible crops can promote whitefly populations, by offering a greater leaf area for feeding.

Weed species can play an important role in harbouring whiteflies between crop plantings and attention should be paid to removing these in advance of planting susceptible crops. Weeds also often harbour whitefly-transmitted viruses (Bedford et al., 1998) and may be a major source of crop virus epidemics, especially where MED species is present, due to its polyphagous nature.

Cultural control is generally much more effective where whiteflies are physical pests rather than virus vectors.

Host-Plant Resistance

The development of transgenic resistant plant and crop species through genetic engineering must be considered and accepted as a future method of control where whitefly-transmitted viruses are already endemic and causing severe crop losses (Wilson, 1993; Raman and Altman, 1994). Traditional sources of resistance have been used successfully for the control of other whitefly species.

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:

Impact

Currently difficult to determine specific economic damage caused for MED species.