Aleurocanthus spiniferus

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Aleurocanthus spiniferus (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): M.A. van den Berg, Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops
Source: IPM Images

Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintance, 1903) - (orange spiny whitefly)

The whitefly is a pest of citrus in Asia but has spread to other regions like central Africa and Australia-Pacific. More recently, it was recorded from southern Africa (since 1987) and from Europe (since 2008). Infestations result in the leaves and fruits being covered by sooty moulds. Attacked leaves may drop and fruit development is reduced or fruits become unmarketable. Apart from citrus, other plants can also be infested.

The whitefly typically goes through 3-6 generations per year which can overlap in tropical regions and last 2-4 months each. Pesticides have little effect and are often counterproductive by killing the natural enemies. The introduction of suitable parasitoids like Encarsia smithi has been successful.

Vernacular names
• English: orange spiny whitefly
spiny blackfly
citrus spiny whitefly
• Español: mosca blanca espinosa de los cítricos
• Français: aleurode épineux du citronnier

The species is similar to Aleurocanthus woglumi. The 2 nymphal stages and pupae are oval in shape, black with a fringe of wax filaments and dorsal spines. The female adult is about 1½-2 mm long (males 1-1½ mm), dark bluish with some lighter spots.