First record of Bougainvillea mealybug (Phenacoccus peruvianus, Pseudococcidae) on sweet pepper in a greenhouse in Austria.
In October 2014 a population of Phenacoccus peruvianus Granara de Willink 2007 mealybugs was found infesting sweet pepper varieties in a glasshouse located in Vienna (Simmering). Most of the mealybugs inhabited the lower surfaces of the leaves, a few could also be found on stems and on fruits near the calyx. Much of the foliage was covered with honeydew which promoted the growth of sooty mould fungi. A considerable number of ovisacs could be detected on leaves and on the lower parts of the plastic pots containing the plants. According to the owner of the glasshouse the mealybugs were first observed 3 years ago in low numbers and appeared this year at high densities. A maximum of up to 100 individuals per leaf were observed. Some fruits were directly infested, but the main impact became obvious by a retardation of plant growth so that the Capsicum plants had to be removed from the soil by the middle of October. This is the first record of Phenacoccus peruvianus from Austria, and of sweet pepper and some species of Commelinaceae as host plants. The pathway of its introduction into the glasshouse crop could not be clarified and is discussed here. No further dispersal of the mealybug could be detected.