Host Preference of Silverleaf Whitefly and Factors Associated with Feeding Site Preference
AffiliationUSDA-ARS, Western Cotton Research Laboratory, Phoenix, AZ
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AbstractSilverleaf whitefly (SLW), Bemisia argentifolii, Bellows and Perring, preferred cantaloupe to cotton, broccoli and lettuce in field and greenhouse studies. In the absence of cantaloupe, SLW preferred cotton to broccoli and lettuce. In the field, more eggs and fewer nymphs were found on broccoli than on cotton. Differences in the relative abundance of vascular bundles per unit of leaf area between the four plant species may partly account for differences in oviposition site selection. Vascular bundle volume/unit of leaf tissue volume was 50% greater in cantaloupe than in cotton and broccoli, which in turn were significantly greater than in lettuce. Most SLW on cotton leaves are found on underside leaf surfaces. Distances from top and underside leaf surfaces to the nearest vascular bundles in cotton leaves were 131 and 60 tun, respectively, in the present studies.