The Banana Spiralling Whitefly Pest, Aleurodicus dispersus, belonging to Family Aleyrodidae of the Order Hemiptera, is a major pest of banana crops that feeds on the sap of banana plants, causes damage to the leaves, stunts growth, and reduces yield. The Banana Spiralling Whitefly is known for its rapid reproduction rate, making it difficult to manage once it infests a banana crop. The pest is native to Central America.
The impact on the banana industry is significant, leading to economic losses and increased production costs. Effective management strategies are necessary to control this pest. To effectively manage this pest, it is important to understand its life cycle, its preferred habitats, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Banana Spiralling Whitefly Pest in Banana crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Banana Spiralling Whitefly Pest Management
Life Cycle of Banana Spiralling Whitefly Pest in Banana Crop
The lifecycle begins when the female lays eggs on the undersides of the banana plant’s leaves, typically in groups of 50 to 100. The eggs hatch after 7 to 10 days, depending on the temperature and humidity. The larvae emerge from the eggs and are initially known as crawlers. They move to the underside of the leaves and begin to feed on the plant’s sap. The larvae grow and develop into the next instar, which is larger and darker in color.
The larvae enter the pupa stage and transform into a stationary, winged, and non-feeding stage. The pupal stage lasts between 7 to 10 days. The adult Banana Spiraling Whitefly emerges from the pupa and mate, and the females begin laying eggs, starting the lifecycle all over again. The Banana Spiraling Whitefly can produce several generations annually, each lasting approximately one month. The pest’s lifecycle typically lasts 30 to 40 days, depending on the temperature and other environmental factors.
Occurrence of Banana Spiralling Whitefly Pest in Banana Crop
- Location of Banana Spiralling Whitefly pest: This pest infests Banana crops in India, Africa, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, the Philippines, and Australia.
- Host range: The Banana Spiralling Whitefly pest infects crops like Banana, Cassava, Citrus, Coconut, Eggplant, Sweet potatoes, and Tomato.
Factors Favoring the Population Increase of Banana Spiralling Whitefly Pest in Banana Crop
- The pest thrives in warm temperatures ranging from 25-30°C. These temperatures are ideal for its growth, development, and reproduction. High temperatures also reduce the developmental time of the pest, leading to a rapid increase in population size.
- The pest prefers high humidity levels, ranging from 60-90%. High humidity levels provide ideal conditions for the pest to feed, reproduce, and survive. In humid conditions, the pest can complete its life cycle in a shorter time, leading to a rapid increase in population size.<