University of Maryland Extension

Scale/Whitefly Parasitoids

Encarsia formosa
Encarsia formosa (wasp)

Aphytis is a scale parasite

exit holes in scale covers
Parasitoid exit holes in scale covers

  • Many parasites of scales, whiteflies and other small insects are in a group of small wasps called Aphelinidae. Encarsia formosa is one example that has been used commercially for control of greenhouse whitefly.
  • There are many species of Aphytis that attack armored scales. These are ectoparasites that have accounted for more successful cases of biological control than any other single group of natural enemies.
  • In addition to killing scales by laying eggs on them, many species also kill scales by host feeding to obtain protein for egg development.
  • Exit holes may be observed in armored scales that have been parasitized.
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