Whitefly | Aleurotrachelus anonae

California Pest Rating for
Whitefly | Aleurotrachelus anonae Corbett
Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae
Pest Rating: A



Initiating Event:

Aleurotrachelus anonae was recently reported to be established on the island of Hawaii.  It is currently Q-rated, and a permanent pest rating proposal is required to support an official pest rating.

History & Status:

Background:  Aleurotrachelus anonae is a whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae).  The adults of Aleurotrachelus species are small (1-2 mm in length), whitish (covered by white wax), fly-like insects (Malumphy and Reid, 2017).  The immature stages are found on leaves, where they feed on plant fluids.  The last immature stage (“puparium”) of A. anonae is approximately 0.5 mm long, pale yellow, and oval in shape with finely-toothed margins (Corbett, 1935).  This species has been reported from Annona squamosa, Morus indica, Persea americana, and Zingiber sp.  Infestations on avocado in Hawaii apparently caused sooty mold, which grows on plant surfaces in association with the honeydew excreted by the whiteflies (Dubey and Ko, 2010; J. Matsunaga, pers. comm.; Malumphy and Reid.  2017; Mound and Halsey, 1978).

Worldwide Distribution:  Aleurotrachelus anonae is reported from Bangladesh, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hawaii (Dubey and Ko, 2010; Evans, 2008; J. Matsunaga, pers. comm.).  An Aleurotrachelus infestation that may have been A. anonae was found in a nursery in Florida.  It is not known if this whitefly is currently present in that state (Stocks, 2016).

Official Control: Aleurotrachelus anonae is not known to be under official control anywhere.

California Distribution:  Aleurotrachelus anonae is not known to be present in California.

California Interceptions:  Aleurotrachelus anonae has not been intercepted in California.

The risk Aleurotrachelus anonae would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Aleurotrachelus anonae appears to have a moderate host range, and potential host trees are grown widely in California (Morus alba, the genus of which contains a reported host, and Persea americana, which was attacked in Hawaii and possibly in Florida). The areas where A. anonae is known to occur have tropical/subtropical climates. Aleurotrachelus anonae may be able to become established in a limited portion of southern California.  Therefore, it receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– 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: Although details are scarce, reports suggest that A. anonae feeds on plants in at least four families. Therefore, it receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– 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: Adult whiteflies are capable of dispersing via flight, although they may not move great distances that way.  Immature Aleyrodidae are sedentary and affixed to the surface of their host plant and thus are easily dispersed via movement of infested plant material, as proven by their frequent interception at ports of entry.  Therefore, Aleurotrachelus anonae receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– 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: Although Aleurotrachelus anonae has been reported to feed on several different plants, little is known regarding the impact of such feeding.  In support of the pest potential of A. anonae, other species of Aleurotrachelus are pests.  For example, A. socialis is the most important whitefly pest of cassava in Colombia, and A. atratus is a pest of coconut in Africa and South America (Holguín et al., 2006; Kityo et al., 2017).  Aleurotrachelus anonae was reported to attack avocado in Hawaii and possibly Florida.  The Hawaii infestation was associated with sooty mold, which can reduce photosynthesis in affected plants (Malumphy and Reid, 2017).  Avocados are an important crop in California, and if A. anonae was established in this state, it could lower yields of avocado.  This could trigger treatments as well.  Therefore, it receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Economic Impact:  A, D

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.

Economic Impact Score: 2

– 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: There are no native California plants in the host genera reported for A. anonae. However, mulberry (Morus alba) is planted in California.  Aleurotrachelus anonae has been reported to feed on another Morus species; if it was established in California, it could impact plantings of M. alba.  Infestations on crop or ornamental plants could trigger treatments.  Therefore, it receives a High (3) in this category.

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

Environmental Impact: D,E

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:

Environmental Impact Score: 3

– 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 Aleurotrachelus anonae: Medium (11)

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: Aleurotrachelus anonae is not known to be present in California. It receives a Not established (0) in this category.

–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: Medium (11)


The field reports of A. anonae lack detail.  For example, except for the report of sooty mold associated with this species on avocado in Hawaii, there is no indication of the level of damage (if any) inflicted on host plants.  This may be an indication of a lack of impact on the host plants.  There is also uncertainty regarding the suitability of California’s climate for A. anonae.  The areas this species is currently known to occur in are tropical or subtropical.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Aleurotrachelus anonae is a whitefly that has been reported to feed on plants in at least four families.  One of these plants is avocado, an important crop in California.  Aleurotrachelus anonae is not known to be present in California.  It could potentially become established in southern portions of the state, and if it did so, it could impact agriculture and ornamental plantings.  For these reasons, an “A” rating is justified.


Corbett, G. H. 1935. 48. Malayan Aleurodidae. Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums. 17 (4): 722-852.

Dubey, A.K. and C.-C. Ko.  2010.  Aleurotrachelus Quaintance & Baker (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and allied genera from Taiwan.  Zootaxa.  2685: 1-29.

Evans, G.A.  2008.  The whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) of the world and their host plants and natural enemies.  Version 2008-09-23.

Holguín, C.M., Carabali, A., and Bellotti, A.C.  2006.  Tasa intrínseca de crecimiento de Aleurotrachelus socialis (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) en yuca Manihot esculenta.  Revista Colombiana de Entomología.  32(2): 140-144.

Kityo, R., Cugala, D., and Nampala, P.  2017.  First record of parasitoids associated with the invasive coconut whitefly in Inhambane Province, Mozambique.  International Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Research.  3(2): 2568-2583.

Malumphy, C. and Reid, S.  2017.  Solanum or pepper whitefly, Aleurotrachelus trachoides.  Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.

Mound, L.A. and Halsey, S.H.  1978.  Whitefly of the world.  A systematic catalogue of the Aleyrodidae (Homoptera) with host plant and natural enemy data.  British Museum and John Wiley and Sons.  340 pp.

Stocks, I.  2016.  Aleurotrachelus near anonae (Corbett), a new continental record whitefly in Florida.  Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry.  Pest Alert.

Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network.  Accessed November 28, 2017. http://scan1.acis.ufl.edu


Kyle Beucke, 1220 N Street, Room 221, Sacramento, CA, 95814, 916-403-6741, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 2800 Gateway Oaks, Sacramento CA 95833, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov

Comment Period:* CLOSED

3/15/18 – 4/29/18


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Pest Rating: A


Posted by ls