Members of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) are pests of agricultural and horticultural crops. The species complex consists of 31 morphologically indistinguishable genetic groups or putative species. Morphometrics of developmental stages revealed that length and breadth of the wax fringe in the first, second and fourth instars vary significantly (P≤0.05). Multivariate statistical analyses revealed that out of 62 characters chosen for morphometrics, 38 characters were found to vary significantly (P≤0.05). Principal component analyses (PCA) revealed that the first five principal components (PCs) account for 79.1% of total variation and separate clustering was observed with slight overlapping. Overall 88.3% of the classifications were correctly attributed by canonical discriminant analyses (CDA) and confirmed the distinctiveness of cotton and leucaena populations with 92% squared canonical correlation. The characters found in this study can be used as a population/genetic group-specific character of B. tabaci, and these variations might provide support for distinguishing other populations as well.
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Vol. 125 • No. 3