Eretmocerus eremicus, ERCAL

Eretmocerus eremicus

Female is bright-yellow with green eyes; male is dark-yellow to orange in colour. Female antennae consist of 5 segments whereas male ones do have only 3 segments. The parasitoid is around 0,75 mm in size. All developmental stages llive inside the host's body (whitefly larva) except from the adults. The pupal skin of the whitefly turns into yellow during development of the parasitoid inside it. This is irrespective of the species of whitefly. The adult parasitoid hatches through a small round hole.

Mode of Action:

More effective towards tobacco whitefly than towards greenhouse whitefly. Eretmocerus eremicus lays its eggs underneath the second and third instar of the whitefly. The eggs hatch as soon as the whitefly larvae have reached the 4th instar stage.


Eretmocerus eremicus is being used against greenhouse whitefly and against tobacco whitefly in greenhouse cultures and in indoor plantscapes. Consider multiple introductions. The product is sensitive for chemical pesticides, but less than Encarsia formosa. Ask advice for proper introduction strategy.


Effect of ERCAL:

  • more effective against tobacco whitefly than Encarsia formosa
  • first parasitized whitefly larvae can be found around 2-3 weeks after introduction
  • parasitized whitefly larvae turn yellow; this holds for both whitefly species
  • young adult parasitoids hatch through a small round hole
  • adult parasitoids feed themselves with body fluids from their hosts larvae
  • this so called host feeding contributes considerably to the control of the pest
  • after host feeding dead empty skins remain on the underside of leaves

The product ERCAL

Product: parasitized whitefly pupae glued on cardboard cards. around 3000 parasitoids will hatch from the cards

Shelf life: maximaum 2 days at 8-10°C kept in the dark

Climate: most effective at day temperature of around 20oC. Also at lower temperatures intoduction can be worthwhile. Eretmocerus eremicus will also be active at high temperatures of 30 - 40 oC, in contrast to Encarsia formosa who does not like these high temperatures. 


Targets ERCAL:

  • greenhouse whitefly
  • tobacco whitefly