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Pests and Diseases
The Kirkaldy whitefly (Dialuerodes kirkaldyi)
Kirkaldy whitefly damage
Kirkaldy whitefly damage to a noni plant growing in Paradise Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. The older noni leaves are discolored (dull and brown), crinkled and partially covered with sooty mold. Severely affected leaves have dying or necrotic spots or ections, and heavily infested plants may be stunted and unthrifty in growth.
infested noni leaves
Noni leaves heavily infested with the Kirkaldy whitefly may have brown, necrotic areas between leaf veins. Leaves are cupped upward, crinkled and show some yellowing near the necrotic areas.
underside of an infested noni leaf
A close-up of the underside of a noni leaf is heavily infested with the immature stages of the Kirkaldy whitefly. Their feeding caused the leaf tissue between veins to become brown and necrotic.
immature Kirkaldy whiteflies
Thousands of immature Kirkaldy whiteflies on the underside of an affected noni leaf.

Pest: The Kirkaldy whitefly (Dialuerodes kirkaldyi).

Description: Adults are very small, gnat-like with a light orange body. The wings are yellowish, and antennae are seven-segmented. The immature stage is flat, elliptical in shape, yellowish green in color with a longitudinal brown median area. Three nymphal stages and one “pupal” stage occur in the life cycle.

Damage: Leaf discoloration (dulling, browning, yellowing, necrosis); leaf distortion (curling, crinkling, stunting); slow and unthrifty plant growth; premature defoliation.

Distribution: The Kirkaldy whitefly was first described from Hawaii in 1907, but its actual origin is unknown. It is found on all the main Hawaiian islands. This insect occurs in Africa (Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Ghana, Egypt), Asia (Burma, China, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Japan, Syria, Taiwan), Central America, West Indies (Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad), South America (British Guiana), North America (USA: Texas, Florida, Hawaii), and Australia.

Host range: Favored hosts include noni and Jasmium spp. This pest is also recorded from Citrus sinensis, Coffee, Beaumontia grandiflora, Allamanda nerrifolia, and other host plants in 17 genera and ten docotyledenous families.

  1. Foliar applications of insecticidal soaps and oils.
  2. Manual detachment and removal of heavily infested leaves.
  3. Canopy management (thinning).
  4. Weed control (removes potential alternate hosts).
  5. Avoidance (avoid introducing infested plants into your nursery or farm).
Natural enemies: Encarsia protransvena is a parasitoid of the Kirkaldy whitefly.

Ru Ngyuen and Avas B. Hamon (1989). Dialeuroides kirkaldyi (Kotinsky), in Florida (Homptera: Aleyrodidae:Aleyrodinae). Entomology Circular No. 323. Fla. Dept. Agric & Consumer Services. Division of Plant Industry.

Last Updated on December 7, 2006