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Title: Survey of Natural Enemies of the Sweetpotato Whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Ten Vegetable Crops in Egypt

item Simmons, Alvin

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2009
Publication Date: 7/1/2007
Citation: Simmons, A.M., Abd-Rabou, S. 2007. Survey of Natural Enemies of the Sweetpotato Whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Ten Vegetable Crops in Egypt. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology. 24:137-145.

Interpretive Summary: Different strains of the sweetpotato whitefly cause serious problems on many crops around the world. This insect pest damages crops by feeding on plants and by vectoring many types of plant pathogens. Several types of predators and parasites attack whiteflies. They can help manage this pest. A survey was conducted on the predators and parasites of the sweetpotato whitefly in 10 common vegetable crops (broccoli, cantaloupe, cabbage, cowpea, cucumber, eggplant, green bean, sweetpotato, sugar beet, and tomato). A total of 15 different natural enemies of this whitefly were found; 5 were predators and 10 were parasites. The most common predator was the seven-spotted lady bug. The most common parasite was the wasp Encarsia aegypticus. All of the different types of parasites and predators were not found in all crops. No more than three types of parasites or two types of predators were in a given crop. These results help in understanding the role of these types of natural enemies in the control of whiteflies in different vegetable crops.

Technical Abstract: The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is a worldwide pest in diverse agroecosystems. There are numerous species of predators and parasitoids that are associated with this pest. Climate and species of vegetation can dramatically affect the distribution and incidence of these natural enemies. A field survey was conducted to determine the incidence of the primary natural enemies in 10 vegetable crops in Egypt. Fifteen species of natural enemies of B. tabaci were observed, including 5 species of predators and 10 species of parasitoids. Coccinella septempunctata L. was the most commonly found predator and it was found in four of the crops. The parasitoids consisted of four species of Encarsia and six species of Eretmocerus which represented 83% of the known species of parasitoids of B. tabaci in Egypt. Er. aegypticus was the most commonly encountered species (found in five of the crops); to date, this species has only been reported in Egypt. These results help define the diversity of natural enemies of B. tabaci among vegetable crops.