Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IPM TECHNOLOGIES FOR SUBTROPICAL INSECT PESTS

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Natural enemies managing the invasion of the Fig whitefly, Singhiella simplex (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), infesting a Ficus benjamina hedge

Authors
item Avery, Pasco -
item Mannion, Catharine -
item Powell, Charles -
item McKenzie, Cindy
item Osborne, Lance -

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 2, 2011
Publication Date: October 14, 2011
Citation: Avery, P.B., Mannion, C.M., Powell, C.A., McKenzie C.L., Osborne, L.S. 2011. Natural enemies managing the invasion of the fig whitefly, Singhiella simplex (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), infesting a Ficus benjamina hedge. Florida Entomologist. 94(3):696-698. doi: 10.1653/024.094.0338

Interpretive Summary: The fig whitefly is an exotic species of whitefly reported to be a native of Burma, China and India. This whitefly was first discovered in Miami-Dade County in 2007 and is spreading through Florida, defoliating ficus trees and hedges along the way. There is little literature on the biology or control of the fig whitefly. A pilot study was conducted on a weeping fig shrub hedge to determine the efficacy and compatibility of a biopesticide (PFR 97™) or a neonicotinoid insecticide (Admire Pro™) on the enzootic entomopathogenic fungi and natural enemies for managing the fig whitefly. Results suggest that both strategies were compatible with endemic natural enemies and there is much potential for using either the biopesticide PFR 97™ as a foliar spray or the neonicotinoid Admire Pro™ as a soil drench, in an integrated approach for managing the fig whitefly on Ficus species.

Technical Abstract: The fig whitefly, Singhiella simplex (Singh) is a recent invasive species that has become a major pest in Florida feeding on Ficus shrubs and trees. A pilot study was conducted on a weeping fig, Ficus benjamina shrub hedge to determine the efficacy and compatibility of a biopesticide (PFR 97™=Isaria fumosorosea Apopka strain) or a neonicotinoid insecticide (Admire Pro™), on the enzootic entomopathogenic fungi and natural enemies for managing the fig whitefly. Various natural enemies were identified managing the fig whitefly population infesting the weeping fig. The parasitoid, Encarsia protransvena (Viggiani) was observed parasitizing the whitefly nymphs and the lady bird beetles, Curinus coeruleus (Mulsant), and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) were observed on the leaves of the Ficus hedge. The natural enzootic population of entomopathogenic fungi inhabiting the leaf phylloplane and infecting the fig whitefly were, Isaria fumosorosea Wize, Isaria sp., Lecanicillium sp. and Metarhizium sp.. Results suggest that both strategies were compatible with endemic natural enemies and there is much potential for using either the biopesticide, PFR 97™ as a foliar spray or the neonicotinoid, Admire Pro™ as a soil drench, in an integrated approach for managing S. simplex on Ficus species.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page