Spiralling whitefly under control in South Pacific
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CTA. 1992. Spiralling whitefly under control in South Pacific. Spore 41. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45835
A biological control measure may be able to stop the spread of the Spiralling Whitefly in the South Pacific. It has been shown that a parasitic wasp can reduce populations of the pest considerably. The Spiralling Whitefly (Aleurodicus dispersus)...
A biological control measure may be able to stop the spread of the Spiralling Whitefly in the South Pacific. It has been shown that a parasitic wasp can reduce populations of the pest considerably. The Spiralling Whitefly (Aleurodicus dispersus) escaped from Central and South America in the late 1970s and since then has spread across the South Pacific to SE Asia. Scientists feel it is only a matter of time before it reaches Africa. It is a pest that attacks a wide range of fruit and vegetable crops. It gets its name from the unusual way in which it lays its eggs on the undersides of leaves. The pest sucks out sap and produces a white, waxy substance which, when mixed with the honeydew that it also produces attracts moulds which interfere with photosynthesis. The covering of honeydew and moulds also makes the plants messy to handle. Scientists looked at the pest's area of origin where it is not a problem, and discovered several agents that were keeping it under control. The control of whitefly by this parasitic wasp was studied byscientists from the biological control programme of the South Pacific Commission. It worked well and the wasp was released in Fiji. Within a year the Spiralling Whitefly was no longer a problem. There is no reason why the wasp cannot be released in other islands and SE Asia in the hope that it may control the spread of the pest across Asia and into Africa. South Pacific Commission, Private Mail Bag, Suva, FIJI