Probing and feeding characteristics of the greenhouse whitefly in association with host-plant acceptance and whitefly strains

H. Lei, W. F. Tjallingii, J. C. Van Lenteren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Host-plant and whitefly strain effects and their interactions on the probing and sap feeding of the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), have been investigated in this study using the DC-EPG (Electrical Penetration Graph) technique. Whiteflies generally displayed fewer but longer probes on highly acceptable cucumber than on less acceptable tomato. Both whitefly strains, the T(omato)-strain and the C(ucumber)-strain, showed a significantly lower number of phloem phases on cucumber than on tomato. However, the duration of total phloem phases achieved by either of the whitefly strains on these two host plants was not significantly different. These data indicate that a more continuous phloem feeding has occurred on cucumber plants. Indeed, the percentage of phloem feeding time after the first sustained phloem phase (longer than 15 min) was higher on cucumber for the C-strain whiteflies. When comparing these two whitefly strains, the T-strain whiteflies probed less frequently but longer than the C-strain whiteflies did on both host plants. Also, the T-strain whiteflies displayed a longer duration of total phloem phases on tomato. An interaction between the whitefly strain and plant effects was detected on a parameter, which showed that whiteflies probed significantly longer before reaching the first phloem phase on the host plants that had been previously experienced. In conclusion, both plant species and whitefly strains affect whitefly's probing and feeding behaviour, though plant effects are much stronger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acceptance ranks
  • DC-EPG
  • Electrical penetration graph
  • Host plants
  • Phloem feeding
  • Probing
  • Rearing history
  • Trialeurodes vaporariorum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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