Bemesia argentifolii

Bemesia argentifolii

Silverleaf Whitefly
Binomial:Bemesia argentifolii
Order: Hemiptera

The silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii, formerly referred to as sweetpotato whitefly-strain B Bemisia tabaci) is one of several whiteflies that are currently important agricultural pests. The silverleaf whitefly was first found in poinsettia crops in Florida in the mid-1980's. It was found to have moved on to tomatoes and other fruit and vegetable crops less than a year later. Within five years, the silverleaf whitefly had caused over $100 million in damage to the Texas and California agriculture industries.


The adult silverleaf whitefly is about 1 millimeter in length and pale yellow in color.

Symptoms and SignsEdit

In addition to inflicting typical whitefly-type damage on plants, this species can transmit plant viruses such as geminiviruses. The broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) also uses the whitefly as a dispersal mechanism by clinging to the legs of the fly and dropping off at another plant.[1]


Host plantsEdit


This particular pest has been shown to be a good candidate for biological pest control, as it has several natural enemies, including parasitic wasps such as Encarsia and Eretmocerus.


  1. Fan, Yuqing; Petitt, Frederick L. (Jul 1998). "Dispersal of the broad mite, Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) on Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae)". Experimental & Applied Acarology 22 (7): 411–5. doi:10.1023/A:1006045911286. Retrieved 2007-02-21.