Key points

  • Silverleaf whitefly Bemisia tabaci B biotype is a major global pest and is widespread in northern Australia.
  • In addition to direct damage from feeding, this species is the only carrier of begomoviruses which are common and extremely damaging worldwide.
  • Tomato yellow leaf curl virus is a member of the begomoviruses group and causes serious crop losses in Bundaberg and other areas of south east Queensland.
  • Australia is at risk from many damaging begomoviruses affecting vegetable crops overseas.
  • The greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum is favoured by temperate climates and is a
    common pest in greenhouse and protected cropping situations. It is also the carrier of Beet pseudoyellows virus which causes cucumber yellows and Tomato torrado virus, both of which occur in protected cropping in southern Australia.