CIRAD and INRAPE (Comoros) have shown that coconut whitefly (Aleurotrachelus atratus Hempel) is present on 56 palm species in Reunion, Seychelles and Comoros, which facilitated its spread in recent years. But only the coconut, the main host plant of the whitefly, has high levels of infestation.
In Réunion Island, A. atratus has been found at altitudes of up to 800 meters. The development of A. atratus takes 48 days at 25-27°C, which is relatively long compared to other species of whitefly.
Five species of parasitoids (Hymenoptera:Aphelinidae) have been found, the main being Eretmocerus cocois Delvare. In the absence of parasitoids, the coconut whitefly is a serious threat to ornamental,agricultural and wild palm trees, as endemic species are endangered.
Borowiec N., Quilici S., Martin J. , Issimaila M.A. , Chadhouliati A.C. , Youssoufa M.A. , Beaudouin-Ollivier L. ,Delvare G. , and Reynaud B . 2010. Increasing distribution and damage to palmsby the Neotropical whitefly Aleurotrachelus atratus (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Journal of Applied Entomology. 134 : 498-5.