Citrus Blackfly

 Insect Summary Report


Aleurocanthas woglumi


General Information

  • Citrus Blackfly has over 300 hosts, but prefers citrus.
  • Adults and nymphs suck plant sap and secrete honeydew substance that promotes the growth of sooty mold on surface of leaves.  The formation of mold inhibits photosynthesis.  The mold residue is difficult to remove from leaves and can remain there until the leaf is shed by the tree.

Life Cycle (45-130 Days)

  • Eggs…        (7-10 Days)  Deposited on underside of leaf in a characteristic spiral pattern.  Female lays 2-3 spirals (100 eggs or more) over 10-14 day period.
  • Nymphs… (20-66 Days)  3 instars.  Look like tiny, dark scales.  Develop short distance away from egg hatch.
  • Pupa…       (16-50 Days)
  • Adult…      Black to slate blue in appearance with a red head, 4.8-5.5 cm.  Adults emerge by splitting the top case and leave a characteristic t-shaped penetration.  They are weak fliers and movement is usually subject to prevailing winds.  Primarily found on the undersides of leaves.

Over-wintering Strategy

No particular over-wintering strategy, but life cycle severely slowed down in cool temperatures.


Organic Control

  • General Info
    • Supplemental releases of Encarsia opulenta and Amitus hesperdum have proven to be effective biological controls, but takes time (4 to 13 months approx)
  • Commonly Used Products

Cultural Control

  • Destruction of alternative weed and crop hosts.
  • Sanitation of potential over-wintering debris.
  • Crop rotation (Does not apply to citrus!).
  • Tillage and destruction of host crop immediately after harvest (Does not apply to citrus!).


More Images of the Citrus Blackfly


  • Images by Florida Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, (eggs in spiral, adults, damage done to plant, and infestation)
  • Image by Chazz Hesselein, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, (multiple life stages)
  • Image by Ko Ko Maung, (pupae)
  • (Life Cycle)
  • Shivankar, V.J. and C.N. Rao (2004). Evaluation of biocontrol based IPM modules against Citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby and psylla, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama. In: Abstracts First Indian Horticulture Congress held at IARI, New Delhi during November 6-9, 2004, p. 303. (neem decreased egg hatchability)
  • (neem on blackfly nymphs)