Pest status and ecology of five mealy bugs (Family: Pseudococcidae) in the Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria.
Five morphologically different types of mealy bugs (identified by Dug Miller, USDA): Icerya aegyptica Doughlas, Rastrococcus sp., Rastrococcus invadens Williams, Phenacoccus madeirensis Green and Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley were recoded on different host plants and at various locations within southern Guinea 'savanna zone'. Rastrococcus sp., P. madeirensis and P. solenopsis were restricted around Makurdi, where their presence was particularly pronounced (>70%) on their respective host plants. The incidence of the mealy bugs, particularly I. aegyptiaca, and R. invadens, was readily noticeable in all the sites visited. Rastrococcus sp., P. madeirensis and P. solenopsis had restricted occurrence within the zone. Whereas the mealy bugs infested the leaves of their respective host plants, especially the adaxial surface, P. solenopsis frequented the stem of H. rosa sinensis. Icerya aegyptiaca, was a polyphagous individual recorded on eight different fruit and ornamental plants. Rastrococcus sp., P. madeirensis and P. solenopsis were monophagous, occurring only on Acalypha spp. and H. rosa-sinensis, respectively. Although R. invadens frequented M. indica plants, it was also found on F. thonningii.