The most Common Predators of Bemisia tabaci (Genn.): Biology, Predation, Preferences, Releases, Alternative Food Resources, Combined Use, Current Efforts and Future Perspectives


The cotton whitefly, <i>Bemisia tabaci</i> (Genn.) (Hom.:Aleyrodidae) is a serious pest of greenhouses, horticulture and field crops, and ornamentals worldwide. <i>B. tabaci</i> has been spreading into new territories and causing extensive damage for almost a century and continues to be a severe pest worldwide. However, resistance to insecticides has rendered chemical control ineffective for the management of <i>B. tabaci</i>. Thus, biological control serves as an alternative and has great potential for use against <i>B. tabaci</i>. Biological control of <i>B. tabaci</i> has been used since more than 40 years, and many attempts have ended with complete success. Biological control of <i>B. tabaci</i> by predators represents a key strategy whose potential has gone largely unrealized in many cropping systems. While a great deal of information is available concerning parasitoids of <i>B. tabaci</i>, much less is known about potential of predators as bio-agents. Concomitantly, this paper reviews predators' biology, predation, preferences and releases. In addition, combined use of predators and parasitoids, intraguild predation, alternative food resources and omnivory of predators were discussed. In addition, the paper presents the efforts in biological control of <i>B. tabaci</i> using selected predators, and highlights research gaps and directions deserving further development to create a better understanding of these predators on different crops to control <i>B. tabaci</i>. In spite of hundreds of predators attacking <i>B. tabaci</i>, this review is restricted to the most common predators namely; beetles (<i>Serangium parcesetosum, Delphastus catalinae and Nephaspis oculatus</i>), bugs (<i>Orius laevigatus, Macrolophus caliginosus and Nesidiocoris tenuis</i>), lacewings (<i>Chrysoperla carnea and C. pallens</i>), and mites (<i>Amblyseius swirskii and Euseius ovalis</i>). In conclusion, based on information presented herein it appears that predators might be best suited for inclusion in multiple species biological control program for <i>B. tabaci</i>. It is hoped that this paper will help in better understanding of types of future studies necessary for implementing successful biological control programs.


Bemisia Tabaci, Whiteflies, Predators, Biological Control, Predation, Preferences, Alternative Food Resources, Combined Use

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