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Amitus hesperidum Silvestri, 1927

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera; Superfamily: Platygastroidea; Family: Platygastridae; Subfamily: Sceliotrachelinae; Genus: Amitus)

Amitus hesperidum Silvestri, 1927. Holotype in Bologna, Italy. Type locality:


Native to Asia, but has been introduced to many other parts of the world as a biocontrol agent.


Parasitoid of the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodidae) a major pest of citrus trees.


"In 1959, citrus blackfly was discovered near Durban, South Africa. Eradication was thought to be impractical because of the large number of dooryard citrus trees in the region, the hilly terrain, extensive plantings of mango (an alternate host), and the general lack of commercial and home treatment for scale pests of citrus. Shipments of Eretmocrus from Jamaica were subsequently established in South Africa, and the pest potential of citrus blackfly was reduced significantly (Bedford and Thomas 1965). Biological control using introduced parasites against the blackfly was also found to be effective in the Seychelles (Greathead 1971) and in Kenya. Within several years of the initial releases, sooty mold was virtually eliminated from citrus, and commercial control had been obtained without the use of insecticides (Wheatley 1964)." - verbatim quote from Hoelmer & Grace (1989).


Bedford, E. C. G. & E. D. Thomas. 1965. Biological control of the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi (Ashby) (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in South Africa. J. Ent. Soc. So. Afr. 28: 117-32.

Hoelmer, Kim & Grace, J. 1989. Chapter 10 - Citrus Blackfly. In: Donald L. Dahlsten, Richard Garcia (eds.) Eradication of Exotic Pests: Analysis With Case Histories (pp.147-165). Yale University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt2250vh8

Flanders SE. 1969. Herbert D. Smith's observations on citrus blackfly parasites in India and Mexico and the correlated circumstances. Canadian Entomologist 101: 467-480.
Hart WG, Selhime A, Harlan DP, Ingle SJ, Sanchez RM, Rhode RH, Garcia CA, Caballero J, Garcia RL. 1978
. The introduction and establishment of parasites of citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi in Florida (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Entomophaga 23: 361-366.

Greathead, D. J. 1971. A review of biological control in the Ethiopian region. Commonwealth Inst. Biol. Contr. Tech. Comm. 5.
MacGown M, Nebeker T. 1978
. Taxonomic review of Amitus (Hymenoptera: Proctotrupoidea, Platygastridae) of the western hemisphere. Canadian Entomologist 110: 275-283. http://dx.doi.org/10.4039/Ent110275-3

Masner L. & Huggert, L. 1989. World review and keys to genera of the subfamily Inostemmatinae with reassignment of the taxa to the Platygastrinae and Sceliotrachelinae (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae). Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, 147: 1-214.

Nguyen Ru, Brazzel JR, Poucher C. 1983. Population density of the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), and its parasites in urban Florida in 1979-1981. Environmental Entomology 12: 878-884.
Silvestri F. 1927
. Contribuzione alla conoscenza degli Aleurodidae (Insecta: Hemiptera) viventi su citrus in Extremo Oriente e dei loro parasiti. Boll. Lab. Zool. Portici. 21: 1-60.
Smith HD, Maltby HL, Jimenez EJ. 1964. Biological control of the citrus blackfly in Mexico. U.S. Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin 1311: 1-30.
Summy KR, Gilstrap FE, Hart WG, Caballero JM, Saenz I. 1983
. Biological control of citrus blackfly (Homoptera: Aleyrodide) in Texas. Environmental Entomology 12: 782-796.

van Noort S, Lahey Z, Talamas EJ, Austin AD, Masner L, Polaszek A, Johnson NF 2021. Review of Afrotropical sceliotracheline parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae). In: Lahey Z, Talamas E (Eds) Advances in the Systematics of Platygastroidea III. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 87: 115222. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.87.73770

Wheatley, P. E. 1964. The successful establishment of Eretmocerus serius Silv. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in Kenya. East Afr. Agric. For.J. 29: 236.


Photographs and map illustration Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)


Citation: van Noort, S. 2023. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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