A pest survey and subsequent identification confirmed the presence of the spiraling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus Russell (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), in Pinrang District, South Sulawesi Province of Indonesia. This is the first report of the insect in the province and population outbreaks resulting in serious damage to pepper, Capsicum annuum L. (Solanaceae), in Indonesia. In our subsequent survey, A. dispersus was found on pepper in 2 other districts of the province, Pangkep and Wajo. Given its wide host range and dispersal capability, the insect poses a serious threat to pepper in Indonesia. Pepper growers at the survey site applied mixtures of insecticides 2–3 times per week to suppress the pest. Their insecticide choices and application frequencies were based on their own experience in controlling other pests. They urgently need information on effective measures to control this new pest. Therefore, a study on field and laboratory evaluations of selected insecticides against the spiraling whitefly has been completed recently and the results will be published in a separate paper. Surveys for potential biological control agents, such as parasitoid wasps and entomopathogenic fungi, are also underway. Furthermore, given the following phenomena: the presence of high population of A. dispersus concomitant with the high incidence of PepYLCIV, a Begomovirus; low population of its known vector, B. tabaci; and the ability of A. dispersus to transmit a Begomovirus, CBSV in Africa; it is imperative to conduct a study to determine the capability of the spiraling whitefly in transmitting the PepYLCIV in South Sulawesi.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3