Paraleyrodes minei

Paraleyrodes minei Iaccarino

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Aleyrodidae.

Common names: Nesting whitefly.

Geographical distribution: The pest occurs in the Mediterranean region, the western USA (California) and west Africa.

Host plants: Polyphagus, having been collected from plants in over 15 families.

Morphology: The pupal case of the nesting whitefly is about 0.8 mm long, ringed and covered by broad waxy and fluffy ribbons. The case has six pairs of compounded wax pores on its abdominal segments. The adults are pale yellow like the eggs, which are surrounded by fluffy wax. The forewings bear dusky spots.

Life cycle: Nesting whiteflies deposit their eggs (ca 60/ female) in rings on the underside of leaves, the female resting in their center (thus “nesting”). Annually the pest may raise up to nine continuous generations.

Economic importance: The damage of the nesting whitefly to citrus is mostly due to the large amounts of honeydew excreted by the nymphs. The honeydew serves as substrate for sootymold fungi whose dark layers interfere with leaf photosynthesis and thus with tree growth and production. In addition, the pest injects toxic saliva into the leaves, which further reduce the quantity and quality of the fruits

Management: Pruning and oil sprays have been recommended for reducing pest populations in commercial citrus groves.

Biological control: Several coccinellid predators and encyrtid parasitoids were reported to attack the nesting whitefly, but their effects are not known.


Argov, Y., Uygun, N., Porcelli, F. and Baspinar, H. 2011. Aleyrodidae. In Vacante V. and Gerson, U. (eds) 2011. Integrated Control of Citrus Pests in the Mediterranean Region Bentham E-book, Science Publishers, pp. 156-171.

Bellows Jr, T. S., Meisenbacher, C. and Headrick, D.H. 1998. Population ecology and field biology of Paraleyrodes minei (Hom., Aley.) in Southern California.  Environmental Entomology 27: 277-281.

Iaccarino, F.M., Jesu, R. and Giacometti, R. 2011. Paraleyrodes minei Iaccarino 1990 (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), new species for Italy, on Citrus aurantium L., 1758. Journal of Entomological and Acarological Research 43: 1-6.

Mohammad, A. and Abboud, R. 2001. Study of morphology and biology for mineo-whitefly Paraleyrodes minei Iaccarino (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in Syria. Arab Journal of Plant Protection 19: 125-30.