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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Bemisia Argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) Attacking Species of Medicinal Herbal Plants

Authors
item Simmons, Alvin
item Mccutcheon, Gloria - CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
item Dufault, Robert - CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
item Hassell, Richard - CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
item Rushing, James - CLEMSON UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 21, 2000
Publication Date: July 1, 2000
Citation: Simmons, A.M., Mccutcheon, G.S., Shepard, B.M., Dufault, R.J., Hassell, R., Rushing, J. 2000. Bemisia argentifolii (homoptera: aleyrodidae) attacking species of medicinal herbal plants. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 93:856-861.

Interpretive Summary: Although many medicinal plant species have been used by mankind for centuries, little is known about the insect pests attacking some of these plants. Research was conducted on the production potential of selected medicinal herbal plant species as new crops suitable for cultivation in South Carolina. Silverleaf whiteflies (= B-strain sweetpotato whitefly) were found on each of 5 medicinal herbal plants species (feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium; St. John's wort, Hypericum perforatum; purple coneflower, Echinacea pallida and Echinacea purpurea; and common valerian, Valeriana officinalis). This is the first report of whiteflies attacking and developing on these plant species. From late November 1998 through January 1999, populations of whitefly adults and immatures were greatest on Echinacea purpurea compared with the other medicinal herbal plants in the field. In laboratory tests, whiteflies were also more abundant on Echinacea purpurea than on the other 4 plant species. The whitefly completed development on all 5 plant species, and parasites of the whitefly were collected from field leaf samples of all 5 plant species. This study identifies one of the potential insect pest problems encountered in the production of these new crops in South Carolina and other areas where whiteflies exist.

Technical Abstract: Research was conducted on the production potential of selected medicinal herbal plant species as new crops suitable for cultivation in South Carolina. Whiteflies (Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Perring) were found in an experimental production field infesting 5 perennial species of medicinal herbal plants (feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz-Bip.; St. John's wort, Hypericum perforatum L.; purple coneflower, Echinacea pallida (Nutt.) Nutt. and E. purpurea (L.) Moench; and common valerian, Valeriana officinalis L.). This is the first report of whiteflies attacking and developing on these plant species. From late November 1998 through January 1999, density of whitefly nymphs was highest (mean = 2.3/cm2) on the second fully expand leaf from the top of E. purpurea compared with the same leaf position on the other plant species where average whitefly density ranged from 0.1-0.6 nymphs/cm2. Likewise, most adults were captured from plots of E. purpurea. Moreover, laboratory tests agreed with the observation of a relatively higher population of B. argentifolii on E. purpurea compared with the 4 other plant species. The whitefly completed development on all 5 plant species, and whitefly associated parasitoids emerged from field leaf samples of each plant species.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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