Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell,

Martin, Jon H., 2008, A revision of Aleurodicus Douglas (Sternorrhyncha, Aleyrodidae), with two new genera proposed for palaeotropical natives and an identification guide to world genera of Aleurodicinae, Zootaxa 1835 (1), pp. 1-100: 29-30

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1835.1.1


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Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell


Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell 

( Figs 4View FIGURES 1–4, 22, 131)

Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell, 1896: 302  . Lectotype here designated, Mexico [USNM].

Aleurodicus poriferus Sampson & Drews, 1941: 149  . Syntypes, Mexico [UCD, examined]. Synonymised by Martin, 2004: 22.

DISTRIBUTION. Neotropical Region – Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela; Nearctic Region – U.S.A. (Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Texas); Pacific Region – Hawaii; Austro-oriental Region - Java.

MATERIAL EXAMINED. Lectotype and paralectotypes of A. dugesii  , and other probable former syntype specimens as detailed and discussed below ( USNM); numerous probable former syntype puparia of Aleurodicus dugesii  , as detailed and discussed below ( BMNH); 2 syntype puparia of Aleurodicus poriferus  , Mexico, Sinaloa State, on Bumelia laetivirens  , viii.1925 ( UCD); Hawaii, Honolulu airport, on Hibiscus sp.  , x.2002 ( BMNH); several samples Belize, Chiquibul Forest Reserve, host records tabulated in Martin (2004) ( BMNH, USMN); Nicaragua, near Nandaime, on Malvaviscus arboreus  , ( BMNH); California, Catalina Island, on Hibiscus sp.  , 09.xii.2003 ( BMNH).

COMMENTS. Six slides in USNM purported to be “types” of A. dugesii  . One slide of puparia and one slide of adults bear the data “on Hibiscus rosa-sinensis  , Guanajuato, Mexico, T.D.A.Cockerell colr., Sept. 25, 1896, Q. 3273, Bur. Ent. 7233” on one label, the data matching that quoted in the description except that Dr Alfred Dugès was the actual collector, who sent copious material to Cockerell. Three more of the USNM slides bear the data “Q. 3273, Mexico, on guava, June 21, 1892, part of type” on one label. However, four of these five slides have a second, red, label with the data “ Aleurodicus dugesii Ckll  Type no. 14764 U.S. N.M.”. The adult preparation from Hibiscus  has no second label. Whilst the date of the three guava slides would be consistent with this material also being part of that sent by Dugès, and the Quaintance number 3273 is the same, guava is not a host discussed by Cockerell: possibly “guava” may have been a misinterpretation of the locality “Guanajuato” by whoever made these slides, and they are thought likely to be part of the same Dugès material. The puparia on the Hibiscus  slide from Guanajuato are in good condition, as well as being those with the data as quoted by Cockerell – and one puparium has been here designated as the lectotype; the three adults on the other slide bearing this data become paralectotypes.

The sixth USNM slide bears the data “ TYPE ” on one label and “Q.3274, Aleurodicus dugesii Ckll., Sidney Lang  , 1/29/99 [29.i.1899]: with its collection date three years subsequent to Cockerell’s description, this slide clearly is not part of the type material.

Three slides in BMNH were made by the author from dry material with the following data: “ Aleurodicus dugesii Ckll  , on?, Guanajuato, Mexico (Dugès), Pres. T.D.A. Cockerell, Det. Quaintance, B.M. 1923-178”. A note in the BMNH Register for this accession number notes “Pres. by T.D.A. Cockerell. Aleurodidae  det. by Quaintance and part of original [i.e. type] lots”. Being part of Cockerell’s original material this is possibly syntypic, but the absence of host and date raises a slight doubt and they are not regarded as paralectotypes  .

A. dugesii  has recently gained similar notoriety to A. dispersus  although not yet increasing its range as extensively. It causes direct feeding damage to crops, and also cosmetic problems on ornamental plants through the unsightly appearance of its own woolly-waxy secretions (Fig. 131 graphically illustrates this), its excreted honeydew and the sooty mould that grows on the honeydew. Although described from Mexico, and almost certainly a native of Central America, it is the recent movement of this species into the southern states of the U.S.A. and Hawaii that has raised its profile, provided it with a vernacular name, “giant whitefly”, and gained it much coverage in contempory Internet reports. It has now been found in the Austro-oriental Region, a photomicrograph of a slide-mounted specimen from the vicinity of Bogor, Java, being sent to the author for confirmation of the determination.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


University of California, Davis














Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell

Martin, Jon H. 2008

Aleurodicus poriferus

Martin, J. H. 2004: 22
Sampson, W. W. & Drews, E. A. 1941: 149

Aleurodicus dugesii

Cockerell, T. D. A. 1896: 302