Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329871

Research Project: Exotic Whitefly Pests of Vegetables and Ornamental Plants

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Aleurotrachelus trachoides (pepper whitefly)

item KUMAR, VIVEK - University Of Florida
item FRANCIS, ANTONIO - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item AHMED, MUHAMMAD - University Of Florida
item STOCKS, IAN - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item MANNION, CATHARINE - University Of Florida
item McKenzie, Cindy
item OSBORNE, LANCE - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2016
Publication Date: 7/28/2016
Citation: Kumar, V., Francis, A., Ahmed, M., Stocks, I., Mannion, C., McKenzie, C.L., Osborne, L.S. 2016. Aleurotrachelus trachoides back (pepper whitefly). Featured Creatures. Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Department of Plant Industry, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Extension Publications. EDIS# EENY 662. http//

Interpretive Summary: Endemic to the neotropical region, the solanum or pepper whitefly is an emerging pest of pepper and many other horticultural crops in the United States. It has been in the United States for more than five decades as an intermittent pest of pepper, but never considered a pest of economic importance. However, in the past few years, multiple records of its invasion and severe damage has been reported from private residences and nurseries in different counties of Florida. Feeding by this pest can cause stress to the plant by removing nutrients and water, and by promoting the growth of black sooty molds. 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 and nursery personnel to regulate this pest efficiently and reduce the damage associated with the pest.

Technical Abstract: Aleurotrachelus trachoides Back also known as solanum or pepper whitefly is a new addition to the list of serious whitefly pests found in Florida. According to EPPO global database, it is a pest of over 70 different crops worldwide, which include a combination of edibles, ornamentals, palms, and weeds. 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 may interfere with the normal growth of the plant. In the case of heavy infestation, it may lead to the stunted growth of the host and lower production of the fruits, ultimately affecting the aesthetic and/or economic value of the plants. In the past few decades, Aleurotrachelus trachoides has been reported in at least 15 counties of Florida affecting more than 45 different plant taxa. 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.