Title: Life history and biological control of the ficus whitefly, Singhiella simplex (Hemiptera) Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 26, 2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Ficus Whitefly (Singhiella simplex) was first reported in Miami-Dade County in August 2007. Since then, the whitefly has been found throughout southern Florida, as well as along both coasts of Florida up to central Florida. This invasive pest causes infested plants to exhibit leaf yellowing, followed by leaf drop. The pest has been recorded on multiple ficus hosts including Ficus benjamina, F. altissima, F. bengalensis, F. microcarpa, F. aurea, F. lyrata, and F. macllandii. Little information is known of the ficus whitefly life history and its potential to be controlled by natural enemies currently present in Florida. We studied the development and reproduction of this whitefly species under different constant temperatures. We also evaluated the predation rates of the coccinellid predator Delphastus catalinae (adults and larvae) presented three life stages of ficus whitefly: eggs, small nymphs (2nd-3rd instars), and large nymphs (4th instar-pupae). We found that both adult and immature D. catalinae preyed on substantially more eggs than the small or large nymphs of the ficus whitefly in a 24-hr feeding period. Results from these studies will be used to develop future management strategies.