Whitefly Pupae

Whiteflies (Family Aleyrodidae) are tiny, powdery-white-winged, flying insects. Adult and larval Whiteflies suck plant juices, usually from the leaves, and a number of Whitefly species are serious plant pests, especially in greenhouses where they can avoid both their natural insect predators and the cold of winter. Our various native species of Whitefly will overwinter as pupae on the undersides of leaves.

Whitefly (Tetraleurodes sp.) pupae on a Mexican Passionflower (Passiflora mexicana) leaf

I discovered these Whitefly (Tetraleurodes sp.) pupae on the undersides of the leaves of a Mexican Passionflower (Passiflora mexicana) vine in late October here in Tucson. The adult Whiteflies were gone.

The poor Mexican Passionflower vine had a heavy infestation of these strange-looking Whitefly pupae. At first I thought that the black, oval pupae with their white, waxy fringe were some kind of Scale Insect (Superfamily Coccoidea), but then I figured out what they actually were. The lack of adult Whiteflies in this autumn colony certainly made identifying their pupae more difficult.

Whitefly (Tetraleurodes sp.) pupae on a Mexican Passionflower (Passiflora mexicana) leaf

These Whitefly pupae look very much like those of the Mulberry Whitefly (Tetraleurodes mori), but I was unable to determine if their host plants include Passiflora species like this one.