Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Rapid species-level hemolymph color test for all life stages of Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), an invasive and regulatory pest in the United States.

Abstract

Slide-mounting is mandatory for accurate morphological identification of mealybug species (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). A typical slide-mounting process is performed in laboratory settings and requires several tedious and technical steps that can take up to 2 hr. Moreover, most of the taxonomic literature on mealybugs is based on adult females, whereas it can be difficult to find adult females in good condition in field samples. We tested 2,635 specimens of 57 mealybug species from 26 genera of Pseudococcidae collected from all over Florida for two consecutive years to discover an alternative to slide-mounting specimens of Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead), an emerging polyphagous pest of regulatory concern in the United States, now known to occur in Florida. Recent exceptionally high infestations in commercial citrus-growing areas have activated regulatory agencies to implement quarantine and regulatory measures in efforts to halt its further spread within and outside of Florida. A 5-min haemolymph colour test of eggs, immatures and adults is species-specific to N. viridis. This test will allow for the identification of all life stages even when an adult female is not available. We discuss implementing this test in the field to help growers, researchers and regulators make preliminary identifications.