Iris Whitefly – Aleyrodes spiraeoides

Iris Whitefly (Aleyrodes spiraeoides)

Common Name: Iris Whitefly

Latin Name: Aleyrodes spiraeoides


  • The adult looks like a little white moth; its wings are powdery white, and there is a small black dot on each wing.
  • Adults of this species have wings that are more rounded at the tips than those of other species, and while at rest, the wings are held almost completely flat over the abdomen.
  • A single row of small hairs encircles the body in the pupa stage, unlike the lengthy filaments present in previous stages, such as the greenhouse whitefly.
  • The female has a habit of coating an area on the leaf’s surface with powdered wax, which closely resembles powdery mildew, and then depositing the eggs one at a time within this area.


Iris Whitefly is native to North America.

Damages caused by Iris Whitefly:

Whiteflies, like aphids, use their piercing mouthparts to suck up plant juices and produce honeydew, a sticky substance. Honeydew can cause fungal diseases such as sooty mold forming on leaves if left alone. Plants heavily fed by whiteflies will quickly become extremely weak and may be unable to perform photosynthesis. Leaves will wilt, turn pale or yellow, grow slowly, and eventually shrivel and fall off the plant. Honeydew indicates that the whiteflies have been eating for several days. Ants, which are drawn to the sweet honeydew, may also be seen.

Life history and habits:

They are mostly a pest of iris and gardenias but infest various foods, ornamental plants, and cotton. With infestations of this species, there is frequently a lot of wax present, giving the lower surface of the leaf a powdered white look. Females lay up to 400 eggs throughout their lives, an average of around 25 eggs per day, in tiny clusters that are sometimes grouped in a circular pattern and are often found on the bottom side of the leaf. Each egg is at the end of a slender stalk. In the first instar, nymphs are mobile, but as they age, they lose their legs, become sessile, and feed in one location, covered in a waxy coating. The nymph stages take roughly a month to progress to the immobile pupa stage. Plants are consumed in all phases. Infestations can virtually cover the whole surface of the leaf, resulting in a high output of honeydew and sooty mold.