The suitability of tomato leaves of different ages for Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) B biotype and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) was characterized by development time, stage-specific survival, sex ratio, longevity, and fecundity. Three categories of leaf ages were tested (young: expanding leaves <2 wk old; mature: fully expanded, 4–5-wk-old leaves; old: fully expanded, 6–7-wk-old leaves). There was no significant variation in the duration of development of the two species among the three classes of leaf ages, but total survival and ratio of females to males on mature and old leaves were higher than on young leaves. For egg hatch, the reverse tendency was found. Longevity of both species was higher on mature than on young leaves, and fecundity during the first 2 wk of adult life was higher on mature than on young or old leaves. The B. tabaci B biotype developed faster through the quiescent fourth nymphal instar, had higher ratio of females to males, survived longer, and produced more eggs (in the first 2 wk of adult life) than T. vaporariorum on leaves of the same age; although on young leaves, B. tabaci B biotype survivorship was lower than that of T. vaporariorum. The index of host suitability of B. tabaci B biotype was higher on mature and old leaves than on young leaves. In T. vaporariorum, no such differences were found among these three leaf ages. The results could provide some cues why B. tabaci B biotype is spreading so vigorously.
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Vol. 41 • No. 5