Re: whitefly

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On 29/3/2003, Catherine Fryer wrote:
>I guess I should have killed it while I had the chance.  It was really
>pretty.  I'm so sorry it's a pest.

Let's not be hasty!  There are many species of whitefly--an entire
Family's worth (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Some native, some imported;
some plant specific, some almost omnivorous.  The natives, at least,
will serve as food for many, just as aphids do.  Parasitic wasps,
lacewings, syrphid flies, ladybugs (all the critters that tend to eat
the closely related aphids and scale insects).  If I were a dragonfly,
I'd probably be tempted by the easily spotted adults.  Bound to be
birds that go after nymphs (warblers, chickadees) and adults
(swallows?), too.

There's an almost decent FAQ about california whiteflies
<http://www.uckac.edu/whitefly/faqs_about_whiteflies.htm>.  (Only
almost decent because most of the links to further information are
broken.)  It has some ID hints for species common in california.  With
some googling, you can probably find something similar aimed at BC.

Oh cool:
<http://www.fsca-dpi.org/Homoptera_Hemiptera/Whitefly/whitefly_catalog.htm>
has searchable whitefly / parasitoid / host databases, culled from the
literature of decades.  So by looking for who eats Gaultheria, I find 5
species of whitefly.  Looking for one of those species, Aleyrodes
spiraeoides, it tells me that it eats 22 plants, including Fuchsia,
Iris, Solanunum douglasii, and Fragaria.  Looking for A. spiraeoides in
the predator/parasitoid database finds 7 predators (2 for south of the
US), from Encarsia parasitic wasps (which specialize on whiteflies
<http://chalcidoids.tamu.edu/ENCARSIA/encarsia.htm>)  to Geocoris
pallens, the bigeyed bug
<http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol/predators/geocoris.html>.

Still sorry you didn't swat your pretty little whitefly? :-)
-- 
Allyn Weaks    allyn@tardigrade.net   Seattle, WA  Sunset zone 5
Pacific NW Native Wildlife Gardening: http://www.tardigrade.org/natives/
"The benefit of even limited monopolies is too doubtful, to be opposed
to that of their general suppression."  Thomas Jefferson


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