Range of all of the invasive whiteflies increasing
Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Environment
- Researchers have found that the host range of all of the invasive whiteflies was increasing due to their polyphagous nature (ability to feed on various kinds of food) and prolific breeding.
Important value additions
- Whiteflies are Hemipterans that typically feed on the undersides of plant leaves.
- They comprise the family Aleyrodidae, the only family in the superfamily Aleyrodoidea.
- In warm or tropical climates and especially in greenhouses, whiteflies present major problems in crop protection.
- These are one of the top ten devastating pests in the world that damage more than 2000 plant species and also function as vectors for some 200-plant viruses.
- Cotton is one of the worst hit crops by these.
- Also, Bt. cotton is not resistant against white flies.
- They were also found to expand their host range on valuable plants species, such as coconut, banana, mango, sapota, guava, cashew, oil palm, and ornamental plants and important medicinal plants.
- The whiteflies are difficult to control by using synthetic insecticides.
- Currently naturally occurring insect predators, parasitoids and entomopathogenic fungi (fungi that can kill insets) are being used.