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Insect Pests - Whiteflies

Developed by Mark Bell, Frank Zalom, Emily Symmes, and Mark Henderson - UC Davis International Programs Office (2009) "What are Whiteflies? Whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci, Trialeurodes vaporariorum) are common pests of tomatoes, cucumber, beans, cabbage, peppers, squash, potato, peanut, and cotton. Whiteflies are small, soft-bodied sucking insects. Adults are about 1.5 mm long, with yellow bodies and white wings. Newly emerged nymphs have legs and antennae and are mobile. Older nymphal stages are oval-shaped, somewhat translucent to whitish-yellow in color, lack legs and antennae, and remain fixed on the leaf surface. The last nymphal stage (pupa) has red eyespots and, depending on the species, may have waxy filaments around the edge of the pupa. What is the Damage Caused? Whiteflies reduce yields by feeding on the undersides of leaves, removing nutrients from the foliage resulting in poor plant growth. Infestations may cause fruit to ripen unevenly, particularly with Bemisia in tomatoes. Whiteflies produce a sticky substance (honeydew) in large quantities that can tarnish fruit. Black sooty molds may grow on the honeydew. Whiteflies are vectors some important plant gemini viruses and tospo viruses. "

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