Whitefly life cycle game online. Biology lesson for students from 2nd to 7th grades to learn the stages in the life cycle of a whitefly.
The whitefly life cycle is a classic example of a modified form of hemimetabolous metamorphosis. The eggs are laid under leaves in circular or arcing patterns. When they hatch, they grow into legless, yellow-bodied nymphs that molt into adults. They spend the rest of their development sucking sap and excreting sticky "honeydew". Because of this, sooty molds often develop on these insects. While stuck on leaves, they may also affect the quality of sunlight reaching the leaves, which will result in leaf yellowing and eventually death of the plant.
Adult whiteflies lay their eggs under plant leaves. The nymphs hatch from the eggs after about five to seven days. The nymphs feed by inserting their mouthparts into leaves. The nymphs pupate at least three times, before becoming adults. The nymphs remain attached to plant tissue until they mature. If the temperature is too cold for them to survive, the whitefly's life cycle may take a year.
Eggs are 0.2 mm long and white and turn black in a couple of days. After the eggs hatch, the pupa stage is 0.3 mm long and moves about almost like adults do. The nymphs settle into the pupa stage, which is a highly modified sucking insect. During this stage, a whitefly emerges from a T-shaped hole.
It is worth noting that the eggs are laid one per day, each is about 1.5 mm long. The egg develops into nymphs, which develop into an adult within four to six weeks. The nymphs go through two more stages of development. The first two are called nymphs, and they feed by sucking up plant sap.
The whitefly nymphs develop into a grayish nymph at a later stage. The adult stage has a yellow body and resembles a soft scale insect. The adult is a tiny, wingless fly with two black wings. They are ready to start the cycle allover again when they reach adulthood. After mating, the life cycle begins with an egg that hatches in a couple of hours.
The nymph stage looks similar to a miniature moth with a white powdery wing. The adult stage of a whitefly's life is different from the nymphs. The nymphs are much smaller and immobile than the adult, but they have the same body shape. The nymphs are not fully metamorphosed. Nymphs will crawl around on the plant until they reach the undersides of young leaves and attach themselves. They will feed for about four weeks before they emerge as adults. A single mature female whitefly can lay up to 400 eggs.
If you are interested in learning the life cycle and metamorphosis of the whitefly, click on the interactive game above and begin practicing. This game can be played in the classroom or at home with students in 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade and 6th grades. Have fun learning biology.