Your browser does not support JavaScript!
Purdue Extension 4-H/FFA Career Development Event (CDE) | FFA | Purdue | entomology | CDE | insect | insect orders | flashcards | contest
insect imagespacer
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Whitefly

Order: Homoptera

Family: Aleyrodidae

Pest Status: Whiteflies can become serious pests of ornamental plants, especially in greenhouse production.

Appearance: Adults are about 1/10 to 1/16-inch long and look like tiny moths. They have four broad, delicate wings that are held roof-like over the body and are covered with a white, powdery wax.

Life Cycle: Females deposit their eggs in a circular pattern on plants. The eggs hatch within a week into flattened nymphs that wander about, sucking juices from the plant. The nymphs live for about four weeks and the adults for about one month longer.

Where to Collect: Whiteflies are usually found on the undersides of leaves and are most active during the daytime when it is warm. The delicate insects are best collected straight into a vial of alcohol to avoid excessive handling and crushing them.