Analysis of morphological variation in distinct populations of Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae)

Rosemarie C. Rosell, Ian D. Bedford, Donald R. Frohlich, Ray J. Gill, Judith K. Brown, Peter G. Markham

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116 Scopus citations


Morphological characters of whiteflies, Bemisia spp., from 17 populations from disparate locations worldwide were compared. Historically, characters of 4th instars (pupae) are used for separating Bemisia spp. We assessed variability in the following characters of the 4th instar: anterior submarginal setae, anterior and posterior was fringes, dorsal setae, posterior submarginal setae, caudal setae, and tracheal folds. Anterior submarginal setae 4 (ASMS 4) were generally, but not always, absent in B. argentifolli Bellows & Perring and B biotype populations, and in most non-A/ non-B biotype (E, K, L, P, and Q). However, ASMS 4 were found in A biotype, in the N biotype, and in B. hancocki. Dorsal setal pair 4 was absent in most populations, and the lenghts of dorsal setal paris 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 varied on individuals from several populations. Anterior was fringes were highly variable in length and width in all populations. With the exception of the Nepal (P biotype) population, posterior was fringes extended beyond the borders of the caudal setae in all individuals examined. Although posterior submarginal setal pair 5 (PSMS 5) was short in most individuals examined, these setae were elongated in a few individuals from 5 populations. Phylogenetic analysis did not resolve most-parsimonious trees. Our obsrvations indicate that morphological characters of pupae are not useful alone for classifying individuals from B. tabaci or B. argentifolii populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-589
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Bemisia
  • Morphology
  • Phylogeny
  • Species complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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