What are Spiraling Whiteflies?
They are small, winged insects that belong to the Order Hemiptera which also includes aphids, scales, and mealybugs. These insects typically feed on the underside of leaves with their “needle-like” mouthparts. Whiteflies can seriously injure host plants by sucking nutrients from the plant causing wilting, yellowing, stunting, leaf drop, or even death. There are more than 75 different whiteflies reported in Florida.
Spiraling Whitefly Host Plants
This whitefly appears to have a very broad host range from palms to woody ornamentals and fruits. Thus far, it has been seen on gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba), Calophyllum species, black olive (Bucida buceras), copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana), broadleaf arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco), Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), live oak (Quercus virginiana) and mango (Mangifera indica).
It has also been reported on several palms which include areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), Veitchia species, and coconut (Cocos nucifera). Additional hosts are likely to be added to the current list.
Rugose Spiraling Whitefly
• First collected in Florida in Miami‐Dade County from gumbo limbo trees
• Believe to originate from Central America • This is not the same whitefly that causes
defoliation and branch dieback on ficus
• Very broad host range including gumbo limbo, black olive, copper leaf, cocoplum, Brazilian pepper, live oak, mango, coconut and areca palms and many others
[Source: Spiraling Whitefly Fact Sheet]
Punta Gorda Spiraling Whitefly Experts
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