Sweetpotato whitefly: prospects for biological control
Michael P. Parrelta, UC Davis
Tom S. Bellows, UC Riverside
Raymond J. Gill, CDFA
Judith K. Brown, University of Arizona
Kevin M. Heinz, UC Davis
California Agriculture 46(1):25-26. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v046n01p25.
The damage to desert agricultural crops in Southern California and Arizona in fall-winter 1991 by the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is unprecedented in the history of the South west. Damage estimates exceed $200 million for California alone with the complete loss of the fall and winter melon crop and major damage to many winter vegetables and other crops. Origins of the problem, and potential biological control agents, are discussed.
M. P. Parrella is Professor and Chairperson, Department of Entomology, UC Davis; T. S. Bellows is Associate Professor, Department of Entomology, UC Riverside; R. J. Gill is Senior Research Entomologist, Insect Taxonomy Laboratory, CDFA; J. K. Brown is Research Professor, Departments of Plant Sciences/Plant Pathology, University of Arizona, Tucson; K. M. Heinz is Postgraduate Research Scientist, Department of Entomology, UC Davis;
Parasite identification was done by Dr. Andrew Polaszek from the Institute of Entomology (London). Several of the Encarsia sp., the Eretmocerus and Delphastus were supplied to us by the University of Florida and USD A/ ARS in Apopka. The Beltsville strain of Encarsia near formosa was sent to us from USD A/ARS in Beltsville, MD. Support for the comparative biological work with the natural enemies was provided by UC IPM, the American Floral Endowment, and the California Association of Nurserymen.