The greenhouse whitefly Insect, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, is a worldwide pest of tomatoes and houseplants. As well as sucking nutrients from the plants, the sugary honeydew length o.1 inches (2 mm).
- Common name: whiteflies
- Family: Aleyrodidae
- Order: Hemiptera
- Class/subphylum: Insecta/Hexapoda
- Number of species: About 1160 (100 u.s.)
- Size: Up to 0.1 in (2-2.5 mm)
Key features: Tiny insects covered in a waxy powder that gives them a white appearance; membranous wings, which are white or mottled, held almost flat over the body, with slight overlap along the centerline; early nymphs have legs and can move around, later instars cannot use legs and remain in one place
Habits: often found in large numbers on food plants; nymphs cover the underside of leaves; adults fly readily with a weak flight when disturbed
Breeding: Reproduction is sexual or by parthenogenesis, when courtship occurs, it can be complex; eggs laid singly or in batches; parental care has been recorded
Diet: All species suck sap from host plants; a number are pests of cultivated plants
Habitat: Forests, fields, plantations, and orchards
Distribution: Worldwide, but more species in the warmer regions.