Agricultural entomology: Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintance)

Agricultural entomology: Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintance)

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Classification and host plants

Class: Insects
Order: Rincoti
Suborder: Homoptera
Family: Aleurodidi or Aleirodidi
Genus: Aleurocanthus
Species: A. spiniferus (Quaintance)

Bibliographic reference:
Phytopathology, agricultural entomology and applied biology” – M.Ferrari, E.Marcon, A.Menta; School edagricole - RCS Libri spa

Host plants: Citrus fruits.

Identification and damage

LAururocanthus spiniferus is a tropical aleirodide common in Africa, Asia and Australia. As for Italy, its reporting dates back to 2008 in Puglia and at the moment seems to be limited to this region. The adults of this species are not skilled flyers, but the spread can be operated by the wind over shorter or shorter distances, but on the long distance the movement of infested plant material is involved.
The feeding activity causes direct and indirect damage that lead to the drying up of the vegetation with consequent fall of the photosynthetic organs and in the most serious cases to the death of the affected plant.

Biological cycle

A. spiniferus it is a polyphagous insect, at least in the areas of origin, but in our environment it shows a strong preference for plants of the genus Citrus. The juvenile forms of this helicopter generally infest the lower page of the leaves of the plants, where by means of stepped stilettos they sting the plant tissues by subtracting lymph and producing sugary excrements that smear the attached plants causing the development of fumaggini. The number of annual generations varies according to the climatic trend (generally 3 generations), while wintering occurs mostly at the neanid stage.

Adults and eggs Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintance)
(photo Francesco Porcelli - DiBCA section Entomology and Zoology - Bari University

Eggs and nymphs of Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintance)
(photo M.A. van den Berg, ITSC, Nelspruit, South Africa


The containment of this aleirodide is carried out by numerous natural enemies essentially the parasitoids belonging to the families Afelinidae and Platigastritidae, including Amitus hesperidum is Encarsia smithi. Chemical control using light oils used against youth forms are used in cases of high infestation to lower population levels.


Video: Introduction of Entomology (May 2022).