Host plants and natural enemies of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in China


Bao-Li Qiu, Department of Entomology, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510640, China. Tel: +86 20 85283717; fax: +86 20 85280316; email:


Abstract  The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, has been a destructive pest in China for over the past two decades. It is an extremely polyphagous insect, being recorded feeding on hundreds of host plants around the world. Potential host plants and natural enemies of B. tabaci in the south, southeast, middle, north and northwest of China were investigated during the last decade. In total 361 plant species from 89 families were recorded in our surveys. Plants in the families Compositae, Cruciferae, Cucurbitaceae, Solanaceae and Leguminosae were the preferred host species for B. tabaci, which therefore suffered much damage from this devastating pest due to their high populations. In total, 56 species of parasitoids, 54 species of arthropod predators and seven species of entomopathogenic fungi were recorded in our surveys. Aphelinid parasitoids from Encarsia and Eretmocerus genera, lady beetles and lacewings in Coleoptera and Neuroptera were found to be the dominant arthropod predators of B. tabaci in China. The varieties of host plant, their distribution and the dominant species of natural enemies of B. tabaci in different regions of China are discussed.