Submitted to: Agricultural Experiment Station Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2013
Publication Date: 10/29/2013
Citation: Kumar, V., McKenzie, C.L., Mannion, C., Stocks, I., Smith, T., Osborne, L.S. 2013. Aleurodicus rugioperculatus (Rugose spiraling whitefly). Online extension publication. Featured Creatures. Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Department of Plant Industry, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,University of Florida. Available: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/Aleurodicus_rugioperculatus.htm Interpretive Summary: Rugose spiraling whitelfly which was earlier known and gumbo limbo spiraling whitefly is a new invasive pest in Florida. Since 2009 when it was reported for the first time in Florida from Miami-Dade County, its distribution range has expanded considerably within the state. According to a current report of FDACS-DPI it has been found damaging its hosts in 17 counties of Florida. It has wide range of host plants from palms to woody ornamentals and fruits. As of June 2012, 96 different hosts of rugose spiraling whitefly have been reported from Florida, which include a combination of edibles, ornamentals, palms, weeds, as well as native and invasive plant species. This extension article summarizes the latest information available encompassing its biology, distribution, damage symptoms, hosts and management practices that could be helpful to homeowners, landscapers, businesses, and governmental officials to regulate this pest efficiently and reduce the damage associated with the pest.
Technical Abstract: Aleurodicus rugioperculatus Martin, infamous as gumbo limbo or the rugose spiraling whitefly (RSWF), is a new addition in the list of whitefly species found in Florida. It is a newly introduced pest, endemic to Central America, and reported for the first time in Florida from Miami-Dade County in 2009. Since then it has become an escalating problem for homeowners, landscapers, businesses, and governmental officials throughout the southern coastal counties of Florida. Feeding damage caused by this pest not only brings its plant host under stress, but the massive production of wax and honeydew promotes the growth of fungi called sooty mold, which causes a nuisance in infested regions. Being a fairly new species to the science - identified less than a decade ago, not much information is available about this pest. In this article we have summarized the important information from various reports/presentations that would help to better understand this insect, and manage the problems related to this pest in Florida.