Paraleyrodes bondari Peracchi: Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly

California Pest Rating for
Paraleyrodes bondari Peracchi: Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly
Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae
Pest Rating:  A

Initiating Event:

On February 9, 2016 USDA announced that it had changed the status of Paraleyrodes bondari from actionable to non-actionable based on a recommendation from the National Plant Board1.  Stephen Brown subsequently requested a rating proposal for Paraleyrodes bondari.

History & Status:

BackgroundParaleyrodes bondari is a whitefly that feeds on the upper and lower leaf surfaces of a variety of plants2.  Infested plants develop a coating of sooty mold and strands of white wax2.  Known hosts include Annonaceae: sugar apple (Annona squamosa2); Arecaceae: coconut (Cocos nucifera2), Chamaedorea sp.2; Lauraceae: avocado (Persea americana2), til (Ocotea foetens2), canary laurel (Apollonias barbujana2); Meliaceae: Trichilia sp.2; Malvaceae: Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis2); Moraceae: banyantree (Ficus benghalensis2), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina2), curtain fig (Ficus microcarpa2); Myrtaceae: Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora2), guava (Psidium guajava2); Rutaceae: orange (Citrus sinensis5), mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata5), lemon (Citrus limon5), Citrus spp.2  Paraleyrodes bondari may be transported long distances when infested plants or fresh plant parts are moved.

Worldwide Distribution: Paraleyrodes bondari is Neotropical in origin2 with a known range from Brazil to Honduras.  From there it has spread to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Comoros, Mauritius, Reunion, and Maderia2.  It was first found in southern Florida by Stephen Brown in 20112 and by 2012 had spread to six counties3.

Official Control: All citrus whiteflies are considered quarantine pests by the State of Arizona.  Paraleyrodes bondari is not known to be under official control in any other states or nations.  However, Bermuda and Jordan both list all whiteflies as harmful organisms4.

California Distribution Paraleyrodes bondari has never been found in California.

California Interceptions:  Paraleyrodes bondari has never been intercepted by CDFA.  However, unidentified species of Paraleyrodes were intercepted 39 times from 2001 to 2015 on plants and fresh plant parts from Hawaii and Florida.

The risk Paraleyrodes bondari (Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Host plants of Paraleyrodes bondari are widespread in urban and rural residential areas of California and are important agricultural crops. The whitefly is likely to encounter suitable hosts through much of the state.  The present distribution of Paraleyrodes bondari corresponds with tropical climates.  It is likely that the whitefly will be limited to warmer parts of coastal and southern California.  Paraleyrodes bondari receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Paraleyrodes bondari feeds on at least eighteen species of plants in eight families including important crops and ornamentals.  It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Whiteflies are capable of rapid reproduction and may be transported long distances by wind or when infested plants or fresh plant parts are moved.  Paraleyrodes bondari receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Paraleyrodes bondari has not been documented reducing any crop yields.  It may lower the value of nursery stock by disfiguring plants with its presence and sooty mold.  Arizona considers all citrus whiteflies to be quarantine pests and Paraleyrodes bondari has not been found in that state.  Its presence in California could disrupt markets.  Bondar’s nesting whitefly is not expected to change cultural practices, vector other organisms, injure animals, or disrupt water supplies.  Paraleyrodes bondari receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.
B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).
C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).
D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.
E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.
F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.
G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.
Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.
High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: If Paraleyrodes bondari were to establish in California it is not expected to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem processes.  It is not expected to directly affect threatened or endangered species or disrupt critical habitats.  It may trigger new treatment programs in groves, the nursery industry, and by residents who find infested plants unsightly.  Hosts of the whitefly are popular as both ornamentals and in home/urban gardens and may be significantly affected.  Paraleyrodes bondari receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.
B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.
C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.
D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.
E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.
Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.
High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Paraleyrodes bondari (Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly):  High (13)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points
Medium = 9-12 points
High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Paraleyrodes bondari has never been found in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.
Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).
Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.
High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (13)


The whitefly has not been documented to reduce crop yields.  However, populations in infested areas are suppressed by Encarsia variegata (Aphelinidae)2.  It is possible that this whitefly could be more damaging in California if it were to establish without this parasitoid.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Paraleyrodes bondari has never been found in California and is expected to have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to establish in the state.  An “A” rating is justified.


1 Collins, Joe 2015.  Letter from National Plant Board to Ricardo Valdez.

2 Stocks, Ian C. 2012. Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly, Paraleyrodes bondari, a whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) New to Florida Attacking Ficus and Other Hosts.  Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pest Alert DACS-P-01801.

3 Distribution of Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly, Paraleyrodes bondari. May 25, 2012.

4 USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).

5 Martin, J.H. 1996. Neotropical whiteflies of the subfamily Aleurodicinae established in the western Palearctic (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae). Journal of Natural History 30: 1849-1859.

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211,[@]

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Pest Rating:  A

Posted by ls