Waxes and Wax Pores of Adult Silverleaf Whiteflies, Bemesia argentifolia, and their Dustywing Predator, Semidalis flinti
Apr 16, 2019


Adult whiteflies and dustywing cover all parts of the body except the eyes with waxy particles. Whiteflies produce filaments of a waxy material from abdominal wax plates, composed of many pores and use their tibia to periodically break off the extruding filaments to form waxy particles. The particles are a mixture of long-chain aldehydes and alcohols. In Bemesia argentifolia, the major components are 34 carbons in length and in Triaeuroides vaporariorum, 32 carbons. Dustywings have individual wax pores located around the entire body that produces two waxy ribbons with fluted edges. Each ribbon curls back on itself to form cylinders (particles) approximately one millimetre in diameter. The particles consist largely of a 24-carbon fatty acid, tetracosanoic acid, some methyl branched carbohydrates, other fatty acids and fatty alcohols. Thin layer chromotography (TLC) of surface lipids showed fatty acid (77%) alcohols (8%), hydrocarbons (7%), and putative wax esters (3.6%) and diacylglycerols (3.3%). No differences in TLC lipid classes were found between males and females. No putative wax esters were detected in particles alone or by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The major hydrocarbon was 3,7,11-trimethylheptacosane.

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