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Citrus Pests


Citrus blackfly


Scientific name


Aleurocanthus woglumi (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

Similar species


Adults of citrus blackfly may be confused with:

small moths (Lepidoptera)

orange spiny whitefly, Aleurocanthus spiniferus

  • Black pupal cases of citrus blackfly resemble those of the orange spiny whitefly, Aleurocanthus spiniferus.
  • Citrus blackfly and orange spiny whitefly adults are indistinguishable in the field.

other Aleurocanthus white flies including Aleurocanthus citriperdus and Aleurocanthus husaini.



United States: Florida, Texas, and Hawaii.

Worldwide: Africa, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Central America, China, India, Malaysia, Jamaica, Java, Pakistan, South America, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and Oceania.

Native to India.

Diagnostic characteristics

  • 1.3 - 1.6 mm (0.05 - 0.063 in.) in length.
  • Clear spots across the forewing; appear to create a white band pattern.
  • Adults emerging from pupal cases are red with light-colored legs and reddish eyes.
  • The body color is bright red at emergence but changes to a dusty slate-grey color within 24 hours.
  • The front of the head is pale yellow.
  • Fourth instar (puparium) is oval, shiny, and black with a white waxy fringe and large black spines on the upper surface.
  • Females average 1.24 mm (0.05 in.) in length and 0.71 mm (0.03 in.) in width.
  • Males average 0.99 mm (0.04 in.) in length and 0.61mm (0.02 in.) in width.
  • Four nymphal instars.
  • Brown during first instar, dark brown in the second instar, becomes shiny black during the third and subsequent instars.
  • 0.2 mm (0.01 in.).
  • Creamy white to light brown 1 - 2 days after emergence.
  • Black color appears several days after emergence.
  • Sausage-shaped.
  • Eggs are found underneath leaves in a spiral pattern.


Citrus hosts
  • citron, Citrus medica
  • common mandarins (including tangerine),Citrus reticulata
  • grapefruit, Citrus paradisi
  • kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix
  • king mandarin, Citrus nobilis
  • lemon, Citrus limon
  • Mexican (or Key) lime, Citrus aurantifolia
  • meyer lemon, Citrus meyeri
  • sweet orange, Citrus sinensis
  • Persian lime (also known as Tahiti lime, Bearss lime), Citrus latifolia
  • pummelo, Citrus maxima
  • sour orange, Citrus aurantium
  • sweet lime, Citrus limettioides
Non-citrus hosts
  • avocado, Persea americana
  • banana, Musa spp.
  • cashew, Anacardium occidentale
  • coffee, Coffea arabica
  • ginger, Zingiber officinale
  • grape, Vitis vinifera
  • guava, Psidium guajava
  • lychee, Litchi chinensis
  • mango, Mangifera indica
  • papaya, Carica papaya
  • pear, Pyrus spp.
  • pomegranate, Punica granatum
  • quince, Cydonia oblonga
  • rose, Rosa spp.
  • Surinam cherry, Eugenia uniflora

Host damage

  • Honeydew excreted by blackflies coats the outside of fruits and leaves, and promotes the growth of sooty mold fungus that inhibits photosynthesis, weakens the plant, and makes fruit unattractive.
  • Pierces and removes nutrients from leaves and weakens the plant.
  • Prefers new leaves in the lower part of the canopy.



Eggs are deposited on the underside of leaves in a spiral pattern. Females are fairly short-lived and typically deposit three groups of eggs before expiring. Individuals complete three nymphal instars before completing a pupal phase. Life cycle ranges from 45 to 133 days. Three to six overlapping generations per year depending on local climate have been reported.



Morphology-based whitefly identification uses the pupal or 4th instar life stage. Collect multiple specimens of the pupal life stage to aid insect identification.

All phloem-feeding, honeydew-producing pests have the potential to be tended by ants. The ants feed on the honeydew excreted by the pest and protect the pest from natural enemies. This protection can disrupt biological control programs.



Culbert, D.L., and D.C. Clinton. 1977. The citrus blackfly in Florida, its edible fruit host plants and control of its dissemination. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 90: 124-126.

Ebeling, W. 1959. Sub-tropical fruit pests. Univ. of California, Div. Agric. Sci.

Evans, G.A. 2007. USDA APHIS host plant list of the whiteflies (Aleyrodidae) of the world, Ver. 070611. (

Fasulo, T.R., and R.F. Brooks. 2009. Whitefly pests of Florida citrus, ENY-815 (CH058). Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. (

Hamon, A.B. 2006. Key to whitefly of citrus in Florida (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) (

Martin, J.H., and L.A. Mound. 2007. An annotated check list of the world's whiteflies (Insecta: Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Zootaxa 1492: 1-84.(

Miller, G.L., A.S. Jensen, S. Nakahara, R.W. Carlson, D.R. Miller, and M.B. Stoetzel. 2008. USDA Systematic Entomology Laboratory (

Nguyen, R., and A.B. Hamon. 1993. Citrus blackfly Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), Entomol. circ. 360. Fla. Dept. Agric. and Consumer Serv., Div. of Plant Industry.(

Nguyen, R., A.B. Hamon, and T.R. Fasulo. 2009. Featured Creatures fact sheet: Citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby (Insecta: Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Publication EENY-42. University of Florida. (

Pena, M. R., N.M. Da Silva, J.D. Vendramim, A.L. Courenção, and M.M.L. Haddad. 2009. Biologia da Mosca-Negra-dos-Citros, Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), em Três Plantas Hospedeiras. Crop Protection. 38: 254-261. (

(OEPP/EPPO) European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. 2002. Diagnostic protocols for regulated pests Protocoles de diagnostic pour les organismes réglementés Aleurocanthus woglumi. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 32: 241-265.

Tsai, J.H., and B. Steinberg. 1991. Current status of the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), and its parasites in South Florida. Fla. Entomol. 74: 153-156. (

Walker, K. 2009. Aleurocanthus whitefly (Aleurocanthus citriperdus). Pest and Diseases Image Library. (



Weeks, J.A., K.W. Martin, A.C. Hodges, and N.C. Leppla


Citrus Pests
Content last updated June, 2012