Title: Ladybeetle is an important insect predator of the silverleaf whitefly Author
Submitted to: FAMU-CESTA-CBC Newsletter
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2009
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Citation: Legaspi, J.C. 2009. Ladybeetle is an important insect predator of the silverleaf whitefly. FAMU-CESTA-CBC Newsletter. 8(1):6. Technical Abstract: The ladybeetle, Delphastus catalinae, is an important insect predator of the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii. This whitefly species causes damage to plants through direct feeding and transmission of plant diseases. D. catalinae is a voracious predator of whiteflies in various plants such as vegetables, ornamentals, horticultural and row crops. This beetle is also mass produced by biological control companies and is popularly sold in commercial greenhouses, especially in Europe. Drs. J. C. Legaspi and A. Simmons (USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC) studied the predation, development and reproduction of this predator to optimize its use in mass rearing and augmentation in field conditions. They fed immature and adult D. catalinae with the silverleaf whitefly on tomato leaves under the following temperatures: 22, 26 and 30 ºC. Female adults weighed slightly more than males. As temperature increased from 22 to 30 ºC, immature development time from eggs to pupae declined from 24 to 15 days, and adult longevity ranged from 138 and 77 days. Thermal units required for immature development was ˜300 degree-days. Delphastus catalinae was found to perform better at 22 and 26 ºC; 30 ºC was detrimental to immature development and adult reproduction. This information will aid in development of biological control tactics against the silverleaf whitefly.