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BNI March 2002 Vol 21. No. 2: Review

S. Ramani, J. Poorani and B.S. Bhumannavar

Spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus, in India. BNI 23 (2)


A. dispersus, a native of the Caribbean region and Central America, probably came to India from Sri Lanka or the Maldives. It was first reported in 1993 from Kerala and later from other parts of peninsular India and the Lakshadweep islands. The pest is highly polyphagous and has been recorded on 253 host plants in India. At least two aphelinid parasitoids, Encarsia guadeloupae and E. sp. nr. meritoria, have been fortuitously introduced together with the host into several countries including India. Surveys for natural enemies of this pest in India showed several indigenous predators, mainly coccinellids and neuropterans. The natural enemies recorded from India are listed and doubtful records indicated. Classical biological control, involving introduction of natural enemies from the area of origin of the pest, appears to be the best option for managing A. dispersus. With the accidental introduction of both species of Encarsia into India, there has been a perceptible reduction in the population of A. dispersus, as witnessed in Nigeria, Benin, Tenerife (Canary Islands) and Taiwan. There is a need for careful assessment of the impact of these introduced parasitoids on the pest and also their interaction with indigenous natural enemies.