First report of the papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus (coccomorpha: Pseudococcidae), in Tahiti, French Polynesia.
The papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus Williams and Granara de Willing (Coccomorpha: Pseudococcidae), is a polyphagous pest that damages many tropical crops. It is native to Central America and spread to the Caribbean region and South America in the 1900s. Since then, it has accidentally been introduced to several islands in the Pacific region and some countries in Africa and Asia. The first record of this mealybug in Polynesia was in Hawaii, in 2004. This paper presents the first report of this pest in Tahiti (French Polynesia), where it was found in March 2017 on papaya (Carica papaya) and frangipani trees (Plumeria spp.). Its presence, which is mainly in the inhabited part of the island of Tahiti, suggests the recent introduction of the pest in French Polynesia. Several coccinellid predators have been found feeding on the mealybug in Tahiti: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Hyperaspis pantherina and Scymnus spp. None of its parasitoids have been found yet.