Parabemisia myricae (Kuwana)
Common name: Japanese bayberry whitefly.
Geographical distribution: The Far East, Hawaii, California; the Mediterranean region; in the Middle East since the 1970s. Common Institute of Entomology Map #492, 1992.
Host plants: The Japanese bayberry whitefly infests many fruit trees, mostly of tropical or subtropical origin.
Morphology: The adult is 0.9-1.3 mm in length, with a yellow body, red eyes and almost transparent wings. The bodies of the nymphal stages are yellowish, and the fourth-instar nymph, during which the insect pupates, bears a pair of long hairs.
Life cycle: The pest is thelytokous, males being rare. Each female produces about 70 eggs that are inserted singly or in semi-circles into the the leaves. At 23°C a life cycle required 17-23 days. The pest develops throughout the year, its populations surging during the spring growth flush, along with the rise in temperatures.
Economic importance: In the Middle East the pest damages mostly citrus and avocado. Most injury is due to the copious amounts of honeydew secreted by the juveniles and which is colonized by sootymold fungi. These fungi obstruct respiration and hinder photosynthesis, leading to disruptions in growth and to yield reduction. On citrus the whitefly feeds mainly on the terminal growth, leading to pit-like leaf distortions and to twig deformations.
Biological control: In Israel and Cyprus the pest was completely controlled by the aphelinid endoparasitic Eretmocerus debachi Rose and Rosen. An Encarsia sp. (Aphelinidae) parasitized about 60% of the pest populations in Egypt.
Abd-Rabou, S. 1998. The efficacy of indigenous parasitoids in the biological control of Parabemisia myricae (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) on citrus in Egypt. Journal of Egyptian German Society of Zoology 27(E): 93-98.
Swirski, E., Blumberg, D., Wysoki, M. and Izhar, Y. 1987. Biological control of the Japanese bayberry whitefly, Parabemisia myricae (Kuwana) (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), in Israel. _ Israel Journal of Entomology_ 21: 11-18.
Swirski, E., Wysoki, M. and Izhar, Y. 2002. _Subtropical Fruits Pests in Israel. _ Fruit Board of Israel.