Field population biology of citrus whitefly, Dialeurodes citri (Ashmead) (Heteroptera: Aleyrodidae), on oranges in California
- First Online:
Populations of Dialeurodes citri (Ashmead) on oranges were studied in two orange orchards in southern California, USA, to quantify developmental times and mortalities affecting this species. Four populations were followed in detail for three generations over 2 years, by monitoring the development and survival of 200 individuals in each population. Overall, preimaginal mortality among the generation studied varied from 56 to 94%. No evidence of disease or parasitism was present in the populations, and mortality was likely due to generalist predators. Weather records for the period were typical for the region, and periods of rainfall or elevated temperatures did not show any correlation with periods of mortality in the populations. Overall, the populations have high survival rates for whitefly populations, and this high survival is likely a major contributing factor to their pest status in California orchards. Addition of natural enemies to reduce the survival rates of these populations is proposed as the next course of action in suppressing populations below damaging levels.