Temperature-Dependent Reproduction of Sweetpotato Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae)

Terence L. Wagner


Reproduction of the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), was studied on DES 119 cotton at 19 constant temperatures during May-July, 1993. Newly emerged adults were held in arenas on the underside of seedling leaves, and the number of eggs laid each day was recorded for each female. Average daily oviposition per female was calculated as the total number of eggs laid by all females within a treatment divided by the number of females alive each day. Total eggs per female were calculated as the sum of the daily averages. Oviposition occurred at all temperatures studied from 15.3 to 37.2°C. The rate of oviposition varied with female age, and at all but the coolest temperature, the average number of eggs deposited per female per day formed a skewed-right pattern. A uniform daily oviposition pattern was observed at 15.3°C. On average, females laid as many as 280 eggs at 18°C, and as few as 44 and 5 eggs at 15.3 and 37.2°C, respectively. Total fecundity was also influenced by eclosion date, with more eggs laid by females emerging in May than July, even at similar temperatures. This result may involve a general reduction in female size as rearing temperatures increased from May to July. The data from this study will form the foundation for modeling reproduction of the "B" strain of B. tabaci.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 885 - 886
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998