Siphoninus phillyreae

Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday)

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

Common name: Ash whitefly, pomegranate whitefly.

Geographical distribution: Africa, Asia, Europe, the United States (California, Florida) and Australia.

host plants: Polyphagous, with a predilection for members of the Oleacae, Rosaceae and pomegranate.

Morphology: The adults are typical whitefly, about 1.2 mm in length, with a light dusting of white wax. The apodous nymphs are brownish with a few stiff setae protruding from the body. During the fourth, final stage (often called “pupa”), eyes and other body parts may be seen.

Life history: The eggs (about 140/female) are placed on the underside of leaves and the emerging nymphs rarely move, feeding there until pupation. The females live 3-4 weeks (males only 9 days) and raise 4 annual generations. The threshold of development is at 10ºC and the optimum is at 25ºC.

Economic importance: Heavy infestations of pomegranate, apple, pear and various ornamentals cause leaf wilt, early leaf drop and smaller fruit.


Biological control: Several aphelinid endoparasitoids attack and control the pest in various geographical regions. They include Encarsia inaron, a Mediterranean species introduced from Israel and Italy into California where it controled the pest. The coccinellid Clitostethus arcuatus controls the whitefly in Egypt.


Abd-Rabou, S. 2006. Biological control of the pomegranate whitefly, Siphoninus phillyreae (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae: Aleyrodinae) by using the bioagent Clitostethus arcuatus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Journal of Entomology 3: 331–335.

Gerling, D., Rottenberg, O. & Bellows, T.S. 2004. Role of natural enemies and other factors in the dynamics of field populations of the whitefly Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) in introduced and native environments. Biological Control 31: 199–209.

Guershon, M. and Seplyarsky, V. 2011. The Aleyrodidae of Israel, Biology, Distribution and Host Plant Associations. Plant Protection and Inspection Servives, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Israel, 20 pp.

Leddy, P. M., Paine, T.D. & Bellows, T.S. 1995. Biology of Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) and its relationship to temperature. Physiological and Chemical Ecology 24: 380–386.

Mani, M. & Krishnamoorthy, A. 2002. Role of Encarsia azimi (Hayat) (Aphelinidae, Hymenoptera) in regulating ash whitefly, Siphoninus phillyreae Haliday (Aleyrodidae, Hemiptera) on pomegranate in India. Indian Journal of Plant Protection 30: 144– 148.

Nguyen, R. and Hamon, A.B. 2011. Whitefly, Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae: Aleyrodinae). University of Florida Extension Service, EENY-147.

Pickett, C.H. & Pitcairn, M.J. 1999. Classical biological control of ash whitefly: factors contributing to its success in California. BioControl 44: 143–158

Stocks I, Hodges G. 2010. Ash whitefly, Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday), a new exotic whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in central Florida, and Encarsia inaron, its parasitoid (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae). Available at: http://