whitefly

/hwuyt"fluy', wuyt"-/, n., pl. whiteflies.
any of several plant-sucking, homopterous insects of the family Aleyrodidae, having the body and wings dusted with a white, powdery wax, and being widely distributed chiefly in tropical regions where they are often serious crop pests, as Dialeurodes citri (citrus whitefly), commonly occurring on citrus trees, and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (greenhouse whitefly), inhabiting greenhouses.
[1885-90; WHITE + FLY2]

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Any sap-sucking member of the insect family Aleyrodidae (order Homoptera).

Nymphs are flat, oval, and usually covered with a cottony substance. Adults, 0.08–0.12 in. (2–3 mm) long, are covered with a white opaque powder and resemble moths. Whiteflies are abundant in warm climates, on houseplants, and in greenhouses. The greenhouse whitefly is one of the most abundant and destructive members of the family. The citrus whitefly and citrus blackfly damage fruit and other crops by sucking sap and producing honeydew, a by-product of digestion on which grows a sooty fungus that ruins fruit and reduces the host plant's ability to photosynthesize.

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insect
 any sap-sucking member of the insect family Aleyrodidae (order Homoptera). The nymphs, resembling scale insects, are flat, oval, and usually covered with a cottony substance; the adults, 2–3 mm (0.08–0.12 inch) long, are covered with a white opaque powder and resemble tiny moths. The four wings develop within the insect and evert during the last molt. These pests are abundant in warm climates and are found on houseplants and in greenhouses.

      The citrus whitefly (Dialeurodes citri) is economically important, sucking sap from orange and date trees and producing honeydew, a sweet by-product of digestion, upon which a sooty fungus grows that ruins the fruit. Control is by oil or parathion sprays.

      The citrus blackfly (Aleurocanthus woglumi) is well-established in Mexico and the West Indies. A sooty fungus that grows on the honeydew excreted by the citrus blackfly reduces the host plant's ability to photosynthesize.

      The greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) is one of the most abundant and destructive members of the family. It damages plants by reducing vigour and causing them to wilt, turn yellow, and die. Sprays that kill both adult and larval stages are necessary to control this pest.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • whitefly — ► NOUN ▪ a minute winged bug covered with powdery white wax, damaging plants by feeding on sap and coating them with honeydew …   English terms dictionary

  • whitefly — ☆ whitefly [hwīt′flī΄, wīt′flī΄ ] n. pl. whiteflies any of a family (Aleyrodidae) of tiny homopteran insects having scalelike larvae and winged adults covered with a white, powdery wax …   English World dictionary

  • Whitefly — Taxobox name = Whitefly image width = 250px image caption = Whiteflies ( Trialeurodes vaporariorum ) regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda classis = Insecta ordo = Homoptera subordo = Sternorrhyncha superfamilia = Aleyrodoidea familia =… …   Wikipedia

  • whitefly — /ˈwaɪtflaɪ/ (say wuytfluy) noun a sap sucking winged insect, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, related to the aphid; often found on the underside of the leaves of vegetable and fruit trees where they deposit a honeydew that promotes sooty mould. Also,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • whitefly — noun Date: 1813 any of numerous small homopterous insects (family Aleyrodidae) that are injurious plant pests …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • whitefly — noun Any of various small insects of the family Aleyrodidae that have long wings, and a white body; often a garden pest …   Wiktionary

  • whitefly — n. plant sucking whitish insect that is related to scale insects …   English contemporary dictionary

  • whitefly — noun (plural same or whiteflies) a minute winged bug covered with powdery white wax, damaging plants by feeding on sap and coating them with honeydew. [Family Aleyrodidae: many species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • whitefly — white•fly [[t]ˈ(h)waɪtˌflaɪ, ˈwaɪt [/t]] n. pl. flies ent any of several widespread plant sucking insects of the family Aleyrodidae, having the body and wings dusted with a white, powdery wax • Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • whitefly — n. (pl. flies) any small insect of the family Aleyrodidae, having wings covered with white powder and feeding on the sap of shrubs, crops, etc …   Useful english dictionary

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