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Bionomics, morphometrics and molecular characterization of a cassava Bemisia afer (Priesner & Hosny) population

  • M.N. Maruthi (a1), S. Navaneethan (a1), John Colvin (a1) and Rory J. Hillocks (a1)

Bionomics, morphometric measurements and partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (mtCOI) sequences were examined for a population of Bemisia afer (Priesner & Hosny) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) collected from cassava in Uganda. The development of the eggs, first to fourth instar nymphs and adults required respectively, 12, 31 and 10 days, with a total life duration of approximately 53 days on the cassava cultivar Ebwanateraka. Each female laid one egg per day for 13 days and about 40% of the eggs failed to develop into adults. The male: female sex ratio was 1:4. The length and width of the four nymphal instars were positively correlated (correlation coefficient=0.97). Females were bigger than males and the sexes differed significantly based on body length (P<0.001) and width (P<0.001). Overlaps in their body sizes, however, makes sex assignment based on size alone unreliable. The B. afer population shared 68% mtCOI sequence (817 nucleotides) identity with a cassava Bemisia tabaci population (Namulonge) from Uganda. This is the first study on B. afer fecundity and morphometrics, and the variability that might exist in this species is discussed.

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International Journal of Tropical Insect Science
  • ISSN: 1742-7584
  • EISSN: 1742-7592
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