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You are here: Home / Animals / Species Profiles / Silverleaf Whitefly
Species Profiles

Silverleaf Whitefly

Silverleaf Whitefly

Scientific name: Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1); formerly referred to as 'B biotype' (CABI)

Synonym: Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring (CABI)

Common name: Silverleaf whitefly, sweet potato whitefly biotype B

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Selected Resources

Native To: Possibly India or the Middle East (Brown et al. 1995; Perring 2001)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Bemisia tabaci was first discovered in the U.S. in 1897; a new, more aggressive strain (biotype B) was discovered in 1986, which has been proposed to be classified as a separate species B. argentifolii (Hoddle et al. 2002; Perring 2001)

Means of Introduction: Possibly arrived with imported ornamentals (Brown et al. 1995)

Impact: Damages crops by feeding on them and transmitting viruses (McAuslane and Smith 2015)

Current U.S. Distribution:


Selected Resources:

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TISI Inventory - Silverleaf Whitefly
Texas State University System. Texas Invasive Species Institute.

Invasive Species Compendium - Bemisia tabaci (MEAM1)
CAB International.

Plantwise Technical Factsheet - Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci (MEAM1))
CABI. Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe (DAISIE): Species Factsheet - Bemisia tabaci
European Commission. Sixth Framework Programme.

EPPO Global Database - Bemisia tabaci
European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

Global Invasive Species Database - Bemisia tabaci (insect)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

International Government

Horticultural Insect Pests: Silverleaf Whitefly
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia). Office of Biosecurity.

Primefact - Silverleaf Whitefly in Vegetables (Dec 2009)
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Australia).

State Government

Pest Alert: Detection of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) 'Q' biotype in southern Florida (May 2016; PDF | 1.4 MB)
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Division of Plant Industry.
See also: Plant Industry Pest Alerts for more pests


UC Pest Management Guidelines - Whiteflies on Peppers (Nov 2012)
University of California. Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.
See also: Silverleaf Whitefly on Potato and Silverleaf Whitefly on Cotton

Silverleaf Whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii
University of California - Riverside. Center for Invasive Species Research.

The Biology and Management of Silverleaf Whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Perring (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) on Greenhouse Grown Ornamentals
University of California - Riverside. Entomology.

EDIS - Sweetpotato Whitefly B Biotype
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source Publication #ENY129

Crop Knowledge Master - Bemisia argentifolii
University of Hawaii. Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Integrated Pest Management Program.


Brown, J.K., D.R. Frohlich, and R.C. Rosell. 1995. The sweetpotato or silverleaf whiteflies: biotypes of Bemisia tabaci or a species complex? Annual Review of Entomology 40:511-534.

CABI. Invasive Species Compendium. Bemisia tabaci (MEAM1). CAB International. [Accessed Feb 26, 2015].

Hoddle, M.S., R.G. Van Driesche, and J.S. Sanderson. 2002. Biological Control: A Grower's Guide to Using Biological Control for Silverleaf Whitefly on Poinsettias in the Northeast United States. University of Massachusetts Extension.

McAuslane, M.J., and H.A. Smith. 2015. Sweetpotato Whitefly B Biotype, Bemisia tabaci. University of Florida, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. Electronic Data Information Source Publication #ENY129 (IN286).

Perring, T.M. 2001. The Bemisia tabaci species complex. Crop Protection 20(9):725-737.

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Last Modified: Apr 12, 2018
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