Rugose Spiralling Whitefly

What’s the News?

The Rugose Spiralling Whitefly, which attacks palms, coconuts, and bananas, has been spotted in Pune city.


  • Whitefly, any sap-sucking member of the insect family Aleyrodidae (order Homoptera)
  • It is a serious pest of cotton that lowers yield by feeding on the underside of the leaf and spreading diseases like Cotton Leaf Curl Virus.
  • It is naturally distributed in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico (Martin, 2008), and subsequently, it has spread to 22 other countries in Central and South America.
  • It was and has since first reported in India in 2016, in Kerala,been detected in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Concerns associated

  • These are tiny, sap-sucking insects that may become abundant in vegetable and ornamental plantings, especially during warm weather.
  • They feed on the sap of the leaves and release fluid onto the , this affects leaves on which a black fungus growsphotosynthesis, the food-making process of the plant, and so lowers the strength of the plant.
  • Whiteflies are in the world one of the top ten devastating pests that damage more than 2000 plant species and also function as vectors for some 200-plant viruses.
  • It has high reproductive potential and rapid dispersal ability. A female RSW can lay up to 200 eggs in her lifetime, and the eggs can hatch within 5-7 days.
  • The adults can fly long distances with the help of wind currents and infest new areas.
  •  Other invasive whiteflies were also found to expand their host range on valuable plant species, especially coconut, banana, mango, sapota, guava, cashew, oil palm, and ornamental plants such as bottle palm, false bird of paradise, butterfly palm and important medicinal plants.
  • Whiteflies have been difficult to control by using available It has developed resistance to several synthetic insecticides. insecticides due to their indiscriminate use and over-reliance.


  • Currently naturally occurring insect predators, parasitoids and entomopathogenic fungi (fungi that can kill insects) can be used.
  • Using when selective or botanical insecticides as a last resort other methods fail or are not feasible
  • Continuous monitoring of the occurrence of invasive speciestheir host plants and geographical expansion is needed.

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