Host plants of invasive papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus (Williams and Granara de Willink) in Tamil Nadu.
Invasive papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus (Williams Granara de Willink) invaded Tamil Nadu, India in 2008 has attained the status of a serious pest on a wide range of host plants. An extensive survey conducted during 2009-2011 revealed the presence of this mealybug on 133 plant species belonging to 48 families including pulses, oilseeds, fibre crops, narcotics, green manures, vegetables, fruit trees, tuber crops, flower plants, ornamentals, plantation crops, medicinal and aromatic plants, biofuel crops, tree species and weeds. Plants from Malvaceae, Solanaceae, Asteraceae and Euphorbiaceae were generally found as preferred hosts of this mealybug species. High host preference was noticed on 33 hosts followed by medium damage in 31 hosts. Pest intensity and damage was found to be low in 56 host plants while there was incidental damage for shorter durations in 13 hosts.