Invasive hypogeic mealybug, Formicococcus polysperes Williams (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on turmeric (Curcuma longa Linnaeus): a new host record.
The turmeric, Cucurma longa Linnaeus (Zingiberaceae) is one of the most important commercial spice crop grown in different parts of India including Meghalaya state. Invasive hypogeic mealybug, Formicococcus polysperes Williams (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is reported for the first time infesting rhizomes of turmeric under field conditions. Information on basic biological attributes on two important hosts and field infestation of F. polysperes on turmeric is reported and discussed. In laboratory conditions, female F. polysperes completed life cycle in 56.33±6.64 and 50.67±4.91 days on ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and Cucurma longa Linnaeus, respectively. Although, considerable yield losses were not observed due to infestation of F. polysperes on turmeric, studies on chemical composition especially 'curcumin content' of infested and healthy turmeric rhizomes would be essential in future to know the indirect losses due to F. polysperes.