“The Thing” update…

Remember in my last post I was puzzling over a strange “thing” I had found under the leaves of the Lilly Pilly tree.untitled-1_4000x3000 So I brought it inside and put it in a jar with a secure lid. I kept looking at it but nothing had changed before I went to bed.untitled-9_3000x4000

This morning the first thing I did was look in the jar. And I could see something that looked like a pair of eyes staring back at me. (pleased excuse the quality of these photos)untitled-2Can you see it? I spent ages trying to get a clearer photo, but all the stringy bits kept getting in the way. Then I noticed a second “egg” hatching. How exciting. When I took another photo I noticed the first one had morphed into a small moth like thing.untitled-3

Here is a close up I managed to get. So did a Google search and I believe they are Whitefly. What I thought were eggs are probably the larvae.

untitled-6They are not good to have in the garden as they are sap suckers.

The adults are small white moth-like flies, 1 mm in length. Eggs are laid on the undersides of leaves and hatch in 8 days. Both newly hatched ‘crawlers’ and adults feed by sucking the sap from the underside of the leaf. They also excrete ‘honeydew’ which causes problems with black sooty mould. After 4 nymph stages they form a black pupa, visible as a small speck under the leaves. Most species can complete a full life cycle in 20-30 days, less in summer. Each adult female may lay 200 eggs. Egg laying increases in warm weather. Whiteflies have no hibernation period and must have a suitable host all year. Severe winters reduce numbers considerably. (greenharvest.com.au)

This website also gives good advice about getting rid of them. So I now have another daily job and will be carefully checking for more of these “Things”



  1. Oh my! I should have guessed that! There was a species of whitefly here years ago known simply as ‘giant whitefly’ that produced something similar on tropical hibiscus foliage. It was actually messier, and not as refined, but surrounded by a faint pattern comparable to that in the first two pictures of the ‘thing’. Those staring eyes are creepy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My gardening pal here has this to say

    “There is probably a website in Australia that would identify it from the pictures, it’s pretty distinctive. You could Tweet @flygirlNHM who is the fly expert at the Natural History Museum. She’d know who to retweet to get an ID if she didn’t know herself.”

    I’m not on twitter but maybe you are?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a shame! You were all set to befriend them 😦 😦 I’m not keen on bugs. We have some blackfly that colonise my lovely vine flowers. I’ve sprayed them and stomped on them but I’m not winning. I was hoping the ants would lend a hand and eat them. Even though I hate ants 🙂

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