Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Phenacoccus solenopsis
(cotton mealybug)

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Datasheet

Phenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 01 April 2021
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Phenacoccus solenopsis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • cotton mealybug
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Phenacoccus solenopsis is a mealybug native to North America that is now widespread. It has the ability to multiply rapidly, but is inefficient at dispersal unless assisted by wind, animals or machinery passing through the crop. When its...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Phenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Adult female on microscope slide.
TitleAdult female
CaptionPhenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Adult female on microscope slide.
Copyright©PaDIL/Chamaiporn Buamas Department of Agriculture, Thailand - CC BY 3.0 AU
Phenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Adult female on microscope slide.
Adult femalePhenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Adult female on microscope slide.©PaDIL/Chamaiporn Buamas Department of Agriculture, Thailand - CC BY 3.0 AU
Phenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Live adult female on seepweed (Suaeda sp.) has pale yellow body contents; dorsum with 2 dark bars formed of submarginal grey spots on intersegmental areas of thorax and abdomen; with 18 pairs of lateral wax filaments. Brawley, California, USA. April, 1985.
TitleAdult
CaptionPhenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Live adult female on seepweed (Suaeda sp.) has pale yellow body contents; dorsum with 2 dark bars formed of submarginal grey spots on intersegmental areas of thorax and abdomen; with 18 pairs of lateral wax filaments. Brawley, California, USA. April, 1985.
Copyright©United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs/USDA-ARS/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Phenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Live adult female on seepweed (Suaeda sp.) has pale yellow body contents; dorsum with 2 dark bars formed of submarginal grey spots on intersegmental areas of thorax and abdomen; with 18 pairs of lateral wax filaments. Brawley, California, USA. April, 1985.
AdultPhenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Live adult female on seepweed (Suaeda sp.) has pale yellow body contents; dorsum with 2 dark bars formed of submarginal grey spots on intersegmental areas of thorax and abdomen; with 18 pairs of lateral wax filaments. Brawley, California, USA. April, 1985.©United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs/USDA-ARS/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Phenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Adult female on microscope slide, antennae each 9 (rarely 8) segmented. Cerrarii numbering 18 pairs, each cerarius with 2 lanceolate spinose setae. Hind leg with translucent pores on femur and tibia.
TitleAntenna
CaptionPhenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Adult female on microscope slide, antennae each 9 (rarely 8) segmented. Cerrarii numbering 18 pairs, each cerarius with 2 lanceolate spinose setae. Hind leg with translucent pores on femur and tibia.
Copyright©PaDIL/Chamaiporn Buamas Department of Agriculture, Thailand - CC BY 3.0 AU
Phenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Adult female on microscope slide, antennae each 9 (rarely 8) segmented. Cerrarii numbering 18 pairs, each cerarius with 2 lanceolate spinose setae. Hind leg with translucent pores on femur and tibia.
AntennaPhenacoccus solenopsis (cotton mealybug); Adult female on microscope slide, antennae each 9 (rarely 8) segmented. Cerrarii numbering 18 pairs, each cerarius with 2 lanceolate spinose setae. Hind leg with translucent pores on femur and tibia.©PaDIL/Chamaiporn Buamas Department of Agriculture, Thailand - CC BY 3.0 AU

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley, 1898

Preferred Common Name

  • cotton mealybug

Other Scientific Names

  • Phenacoccus cevalliae Cockerell, 1902
  • Phenacoccus gossypiphilous Abbas et al., 2005; 2007; 2008

International Common Names

  • English: Solenopsis mealybug

Local Common Names

  • Spanish: chanchito blanco del suelo
  • Chile: soil mealybug
  • France: cochenille du coton
  • India: cotton mealy bug
  • Pakistan: cotton mealy bug
  • USA: Chinese hibiscus mealybug

Summary of Invasiveness

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Phenacoccus solenopsis is a mealybug native to North America that is now widespread. It has the ability to multiply rapidly, but is inefficient at dispersal unless assisted by wind, animals or machinery passing through the crop. When its dispersal is assisted, it can spread to vast areas where its host plants occur, in a relatively short period of time. The species is polyphagous and has been reported from host-plants in over 200 genera belonging to 64 families. After its original description from Boerhavia spicata and Kallstroemia californica in New Mexico, USA in 1898, P. solenopsis was not reported again until 1967. Later, in 1988, small, sporadic populations were reported on cotton in Runnels County, Texas, USA that spread 75 to 200 miles from the original site with contiguous populations reported by 1990. With the increase in international trade in live plant material over the last few decades this mealybug has been accidentally spread, and has been collected and identified on host material at international ports and in greenhouses outside its native range. P. solenopsis has become established as an invasive pest in the Afrotropical, Australasian, Nearctic, Neotropical, and Oriental regions. As an introduced species, P. solenopsis has the capability to cause direct economic and ecological damage to native fauna and flora, with heavy infestations reducing plant vigour and causing plant death

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Coccoidea
  •                                 Family: Pseudococcidae
  •                                     Genus: Phenacoccus
  •                                         Species: Phenacoccus solenopsis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Phenacoccus solenopsis was initially described by Tinsley (1898a) from specimens infesting the roots and stems of Boerhavia spicata and Kallstroemia californica within the nests of the ant, Solenopsis geminata, in New Mexico, USA. Later, Tinsley (1898b) provided a brief description of the adult female collected on the roots of Atriplex canescens. Cockerell (1902) described the species Phenacoccus cevalliae from specimens on the host plant Cevallia sinuata obtained at Roswell, New Mexico, USA. This species name was listed by Fernald (1903), but later synonymized with P. solenopsis by Ferris (1950). The taxonomy of P. solenopsis is documented by García Morales et al. (2016). The adult female has since been redescribed by Ferris (1950), McKenzie (1967), Kosztarab (1996), Williams and Granara de Willink (1992), Granara de Willink and Szumik (2007), and Hodgson et al. (2008).

Miller and Kosztarab (1979) recognized morphological variations within P. solenopsis, inferring that it might consist of two cryptic sexual species. More recently, specimens on cotton (Gossypium spp.) in India with morphological traits that differed from the original description of P. solenopsis were described as a new species, P. gossypiphilous (Abbas et al., 2005; Abbas et al., 2008). However, because no type specimens were named in the original description of P.gossypiphilous, Hodgson et al. (2008) considered the name to be a nomen nudum. The presence of morphological variation among specimens of P. solenopsis in different regions of India often led to misidentification of the mealybug species (Asha and Ramamurthy, 2008). However, Hodgson et al. (2008) made a comprehensive morphological study and concluded that there were no significant differences between specimens from the Indian subcontinent and those from the Neotropics, so considered the name P. gossypiphilous to be a junior synonym of P. solenopsis.

Description

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Phenacoccus solenopsis is a bisexual species with multiple generations annually. The species can be identified using the morphology of the adult female with a fair degree of certainty, although its separation from P. solani can be difficult (Zhao et al., 2014; see Similarities to Other Species/Conditions section). The adult female is 2 to 5 mm long and 2 to 4 mm wide and is covered with a powdery white wax secretion, apart from two interrupted, longitudinal submedian dark bands formed of about six dark grey patches of bare cuticle on the pro- to metathoracic segments. Paired segmental wax filaments extend from the margin around the body, with the terminal pair of filaments longest. An ovisac of fluffy, loose-textured wax strands is produced (McKenzie, 1967; Kosztarab, 1996).

Slide-mounted females are distinguished by the presence of nine-segmented antennae, five-segmented legs with translucent pores on the hind femur and tibia, each claw with a minute tooth, two sizes of ventral oral collar tubular ducts, absence of quinquelocular pores, presence of a large circulus, and multilocular pores concentrated around the vulva and posterior abdominal segments, often with a few also present in the submarginal areas of the abdominal segments (McKenzie, 1961; 1967; Kosztarab, 1996; Hodgson et al., 2008). On the mesal area of abdominal segment VII the multilocular pores are present across the entire depth of the segment in P. solenopsis (Zhao et al., 2014). On the dorsum, 18 pairs of cerarii, each with two enlarged setae, are located around the margin. Oral rim and oral collar tubular ducts and multilocular pores are absent from the dorsum.

Female development consists of first-instar nymph (crawler), second- and third-instar nymphs and the adult, whereas males undergo first- and second-instar nymphal, prepupal, pupal and adult stages of development. Hodgson et al. (2008) provided comprehensive descriptions and illustrations for the immature stages of P. solenopsis. First-instar nymphs are separated from the other stages by possessing six-segmented antennae, no circulus, and have quinquelocular pores on the head, thorax and abdomen. Second-instar nymph has six-segmented antennae, 18 pairs of distinct cerarii around the margin of the body, lack quinquelocular pores, and the claw has a distinct denticle. The third-instar nymph has seven-segmented antennae and a circulus.

Distribution

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Phenacoccus solenopsis is widespread and has become established in a variety of regions ranging from arid to tropical. Due to the difficulty of identifying the species, it is likely to be more widespread than the countries listed below.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 31 Mar 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroduced2019Invasive
BeninPresentIntroducedInvasive
CameroonPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
EgyptPresent
EswatiniPresentIntroduced Highveld, Lowveld and Lubombo regions.
EthiopiaPresentIntroduced
GhanaPresentIntroducedInvasive
MaliPresentIntroduced
MauritiusPresentIntroduced
NigeriaPresentIntroducedInvasive
RéunionPresentIntroduced1989
SenegalPresentIntroduced
SeychellesPresentIntroduced2007
Sierra LeonePresent

Asia

BangladeshPresentIntroduced
CambodiaPresent
ChinaPresent
-AnhuiPresentIntroduced
-FujianPresentIntroduced
-GuangdongPresent, Widespread2009Introduced2008InvasivePotential for spread throughout cotton-growing districts
-GuangxiPresentIntroduced
-HainanPresentIntroduced
-HubeiPresentIntroduced
-HunanPresentIntroduced
-JiangsuPresentIntroduced
-JiangxiPresentIntroduced
-ShanghaiPresentIntroduced
-SichuanPresentIntroduced
-XinjiangPresentIntroduced
-YunnanPresentIntroduced
-ZhejiangPresentInvasive
Hong KongPresent, Few occurrences2008Detected in 2008, eradication campaign 2009
IndiaPresentIntroduced2004InvasiveSome people speculate the pest entered the country in 1999 on trade products. Now widespread in cotton growing regions.
-Andhra PradeshPresentIntroduced
-BiharPresentIntroduced
-DelhiPresentIntroduced
-GoaPresentIntroduced
-GujaratPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2004Invasive
-HaryanaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
-JharkhandPresentIntroduced
-KarnatakaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
-KeralaPresentIntroduced
-Madhya PradeshPresentIntroduced
-MaharashtraPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2009Invasive
-PunjabPresent, Widespread2009IntroducedInvasiveDhawan et al. (1980) suggested the species had been attacking cotton in India since the 1980s
-RajasthanPresentIntroduced
-SikkimPresent
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroduced
-Uttar PradeshPresentIntroduced
-West BengalPresentIntroduced
IndonesiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Irian JayaPresentIntroduced
-JavaPresentIntroduced
-Lesser Sunda IslandsPresentIntroduced
IranPresent
IraqPresentIntroducedAl-Ghadir and Al-Karrada Al-Sharqiya
IsraelPresent, Widespread
JapanPresentIntroduced
-KyushuPresentIntroduced
LaosPresent
MalaysiaPresentIntroduced
PakistanPresent, Localized2009Introduced2005InvasiveSignificant pest of cotton, first reported in 2005
Sri LankaPresent, Localized2009Introduced2008Invasive
TaiwanPresent, Localized2008IntroducedInvasive
ThailandPresent, Localized2009IntroducedInvasive
TurkeyPresentIntroduced
United Arab EmiratesPresentIntroduced
VietnamPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2007Invasive

Europe

CyprusPresent, Few occurrencesIntroduced2010
NetherlandsAbsent, Intercepted only
SpainPresentIntroduced
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroduced
United KingdomAbsent, Intercepted only

North America

BarbadosPresentIntroduced2000
BelizePresentIntroducedInvasive
CanadaPresent, Few occurrences
-AlbertaPresent, Few occurrences
Cayman IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
CubaPresentIntroducedInvasive
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedInvasive
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedInvasive
GuatemalaPresentIntroduced
HaitiPresentIntroduced
JamaicaPresentIntroduced
MartiniquePresentIntroduced
MexicoPresentIntroducedInvasive
NicaraguaPresentIntroduced
PanamaPresentIntroducedInvasive
Saint BarthélemyPresentIntroduced
Saint MartinPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresent
-ArizonaPresentNativeInvasive
-CaliforniaPresentNativeInvasive
-ColoradoPresentNative
-District of ColumbiaPresent
-FloridaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced1966
-IdahoPresentIntroducedInvasive
-IllinoisPresentIntroduced
-MarylandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MichiganPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MississippiPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MissouriPresentIntroducedInvasive
-NevadaPresent
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New MexicoPresentNativeInvasive
-New YorkPresentIntroducedInvasive
-OhioPresentIntroducedInvasive
-OregonPresent
-TexasPresentIntroducedInvasive
-UtahPresent
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced

Oceania

AustraliaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2009
-QueenslandPresent, LocalizedIntroduced2009Emerald, central Queensland and Ayr and Bowen, northern Queensland
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedInvasive

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedInvasive
BrazilPresent2009Introduced2005
-AcrePresentIntroduced
-BahiaPresentIntroduced
-CearaPresentIntroduced
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ParaibaPresentIntroduced
-PernambucoPresentIntroduced
ChilePresentIntroducedInvasive
ColombiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
EcuadorPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroduced

History of Introduction and Spread

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Phenacoccus solenopsis was discovered in 1898 by Tinsley (1898a) in New Mexico, USA. Later it was reported to have spread to Arizona, California, Colorado, Mississippi, Washington D.C. and Texas, USA (McKenzie, 1967). It was reported in Texas on two non-cultivated hosts by 1975 (McDaniel, 1975). Fuchs et al. (1991) discovered from their survey that the species had spread throughout the several cotton-growing areas of Texas by 1988 and also recorded the mealybug from 29 additional plant hosts. P. solenopsis was recorded from infestations in 18 US states. It was first recorded from Mexico, Ecuador and the Caribbean islands in 1992.

In 2005, P. solenopsis was found seriously infesting cotton plants in the Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan (Arif et al., 2007). By 2006, it had spread to a large number of cotton-growing districts in Pakistan, where it not only had a dramatic impact on the plant, but also reduced the value of the cotton produced. In India, Deshpande (2009) inferred that the invasion by P. solenopsis resulted from growers buying infested Bt-cotton bolls from the USA. Once established, populations of the pest increased due to the waxy tests that protect it from natural enemies and pesticides, its high reproductive rate, its small size that contributes to its ability to hide in cracks and crevices and its ability to survive on multiple host plants. The pest also has the ability to spread rapidly to uninfested areas by natural carriers such as the wind, rain and water-ways, on farm equipment, and by clinging to clothing and animals.

P. solenopsis was first recorded in West Africa (Ghana, possibly brought in from USA) in 2007, and was found infesting ornamentals in Nigeria in 2008 (Akintola and Ande, 2009); Hodgson et al. (2008) inferred that the infestation in Nigeria might have originated from South America.

P. solenopsis reached China in 2008 and is still spreading in southern Asia; and it reached Australia in early 2010 (Muniappan et al., 2011). International trade plays a major role in the spread of this pest to new regions of the world. P. solenopsis continues to extend its range through trade in infested live plant materials, and climate warming is likely to extend its potential range further in both hemispheres (Wang et al., 2010).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Argentina 2003 Yes No Granara de Willink and Szumik (2007); Granara de Willink (2003)
Brazil 2002 Yes No Muniappan (2009); Prishanthini and Vinobaba (2009)
Chile 2002 Yes No Prishanthini and Vinobaba (2009)
China 2008 Yes No Muniappan (2009)
Colombia 2008 Yes No Granara de Willink and Szumik (2007); Kondo et al. (2008)
Cuba 1992 Yes No Ben-Dov (1994); Granara de Willink and Szumik (2007); Kondo et al. (2008); Williams and Granara de Willink (1992)
Ecuador 1992 Yes No Prishanthini and Vinobaba (2009)
Galapagos Islands 2001 Yes No Causton et al. (2006)
Ghana USA 2008 Yes No Muniappan (2009)
India 2006 Yes No Prishanthini and Vinobaba (2009)
Mexico 1992 Yes No Granara de Willink and Szumik (2007); Hodges et al. (2008); Kondo et al. (2008); Williams and Granara de Willink (1992)
New Caledonia  2009 Yes No Abbas et al. (2009)
Nigeria South America 2008 Yes No Hodgson et al. (2008); Akintola and Ande (2009); Muniappan (2009)
Pakistan 2005 Yes No Arif et al. (2007)
Sri Lanka 2008 Yes No Prishanthini and Vinobaba (2009)
Thailand 2007 Yes No Abbas et al. (2009); Muniappan (2009)
Australia 2010 Yes No Muniappan et al. (2011)
Bangladesh 2017 Yes No Ismail et al. (2017)
Barbados 2000 Yes No EPPO (2020)
Canary Islands 2015 Yes No Gavrilov-Zimin and Danzig (2015)
Canary Islands 2015 Yes No Gavrilov-Zimin and Danzig (2015)
Swaziland 2018 Yes No Assefa and Diamini (2018)
Ethiopia 2018 Yes No Assefa and Diamini (2018)
Haiti 2008 Yes No Perez-Gelabert (2008)
Java 2009 Yes No Muniappan et al. (2009)
Malaysia 2016 Yes No Sartiami et al. (2016)
Sierra Leone 2015 Yes No Fand and Suroshe (2015)
Leeward Islands 2006 Yes No Matile-Ferrero and Étienne (2006) St Barthelemy and St Martin

Risk of Introduction

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Based on the range of climates and large number of host species on which P. solenopsis can survive, and the damage inflicted on the host plants, this species poses a serious threat of expanding its range (Wang et al., 2010). The hydrophobic waxy test, cryptic habits, small size, ability to feed on all parts of the plant, multiple overlapping generations and high reproductive rates, allow P. solenopsis the opportunity to disperse over extended areas. Its cryptic colouration and small size mean that it can be overlooked on infested vegetables, fruits and other crops, facilitating transport to other regions.

As an introduced species, P. solenopsis has the capability to cause direct economic and ecological damage to native fauna and flora, with heavy infestations reducing plant vigour and causing plant death. Once the species has established within a region, it has the capability of rapid multiplication resulting in significant damage to the crop. Sharma (2007) documented a seasonal outbreak of P. solenopsis on okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) in 2007, which developed into a heavy infestation by the end of the growing season and resulted in a 90% loss of seeds. Wang et al. (2009) recorded 17 provinces and 11 regions in China where this invasive species could spread and cause significant economic and environmental damage. Based on an international pest risk analysis for P. solenopsis, Wang et al. (2009) rated this mealybug as a high-risk invasive threat to China, with risk score of 0.856.

Habitat

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This species has been documented infesting 204 plant species representing 64 families with a distribution in Africa, Asia, North America and South America and Oceanic regions including the Caribbean nations (García Morales et al., 2016). Specimens from different geographical regions exhibit similar morphological characteristics (Hodgson et al., 2008). Hodgson et al. (2008) noted a significant difference in the ecology of P. solenopsis from the hot, dry climate of southwestern USA; here the mealybug occurs primarily on the roots and underside of the foliage and stems, compared to the more humid regions of India and Pakistan, where it is found almost entirely on the upper portions of the foliage, well above the soil line. Dhawan et al. (2009a) inferred that meteorological parameters influenced the presence and population size of the mealybug, with high humidity and rainfall having a negative effect.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalArid regions Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

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The solenopsis mealybug has been recorded on 204 host plant species that include field crops, ornamentals, trees, vegetables and weeds (García Morales et al., 2016). In Pakistan, P. solenopsis obtained the status of a serious pest on a wide host range. In a field survey, Arif et al. (2009) identified the mealybug from 154 plant species, the majority of which belong to the families Malvaceae, Solanaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Amaranthaceae and Cucurbitaceae. Significant economic damage occurs on cotton (Gossypium spp.), brinjal (Solanum melongena), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), sesame (Sesamum indicum), sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and China rose (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis; Sharma, 2007; Arif et al., 2009; Jagadish et al., 2009b).

Several cultivated plants, as well as weeds, have been used as trap crops to suppress the population numbers in an area. In surveys of the insect fauna in the southwestern USA, this pseudococcid was recorded on several plant hosts ranging from silver nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium; Goeden, 1971) to jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis; Pinto and Frommer, 1980).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Abelmoschus esculentus (okra)MalvaceaeMain
    Abutilon indicum (country mallow)MalvaceaeWild host
      Abutilon muticumMalvaceaeWild host
        Acacia leucophloea (white-barked Acacia)FabaceaeWild host
          Acacia modestaFabaceaeWild host
            Acalypha wilkesianaEuphorbiaceaeWild host
              Achillea (milfoil)AsteraceaeWild host
                Achyranthes aspera (devil's horsewhip)AmaranthaceaeWild host
                  Aerva javanicaChenopodiaceaeWild host
                    Ageratum conyzoides (billy goat weed)AsteraceaeWild host
                      Albizia lebbeck (Indian siris)FabaceaeWild host
                        Althaea (hollyhocks)MalvaceaeWild host
                          Amaranthus flavusAmaranthaceaeOther
                            Amaranthus viridis (slender amaranth)AmaranthaceaeWild host
                              Ambrosia (Ragweed)AsteraceaeWild host
                                Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)AsteraceaeOther
                                  Ambrosia confertifoliaAsteraceaeOther
                                    Ambrosia dumosaAsteraceaeOther
                                      Ambrosia psilostachya (perennial ragweed)AsteraceaeOther
                                        Ambrosia tenuifolia (lacy ragweed)AsteraceaeOther
                                          Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeOther
                                            Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel)PrimulaceaeWild host
                                              Aphelandra squarrosa (Zebra plant)AcanthaceaeOther
                                                Artemisia annuaAsteraceaeWild host
                                                  Asclepias (Silkweed)AsclepiadaceaeWild host
                                                    Asparagus densiflorus (asparagus fern)LiliaceaeWild host
                                                      Asparagus setaceus (asparagus fern)LiliaceaeWild host
                                                        Atriplex canescens (Fourwing saltbush)ChenopodiaceaeWild host
                                                          Azadirachta indica (neem tree)MeliaceaeOther
                                                            Bassia indicaChenopodiaceaeWild host
                                                              Bauhinia purpurea (purple bauhinia)FabaceaeWild host
                                                                Bidens pilosa (blackjack)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                  Blumea laceraAsteraceaeWild host
                                                                    Boerhavia repensWild host
                                                                      Boerhavia spicataNyctaginaceaeWild host
                                                                        Bombax ceiba (silk cotton tree)BombacaceaeWild host
                                                                          Bougainvillea glabraNyctaginaceaeWild host
                                                                            Broussonetia papyrifera (paper mulberry)MoraceaeWild host
                                                                              Calendula officinalis (Pot marigold)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                Calotropis procera (apple of sodom)ApocynaceaeWild host
                                                                                  Capparis deciduaCapparaceaeWild host
                                                                                    Capsicum frutescens (chilli)SolanaceaeOther
                                                                                      Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeOther
                                                                                        Cassia fistula (Indian laburnum)FabaceaeWild host
                                                                                          Celosia argentea (celosia)AmaranthaceaeWild host
                                                                                            Centaurea cyanus (cornflower)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                              Cestrum diurnum (day jessamine)SolanaceaeWild host
                                                                                                Cestrum nocturnum (night jessamine)SolanaceaeWild host
                                                                                                  Cevallia sinuataLoasaceaeWild host
                                                                                                    Chenopodium album (fat hen)ChenopodiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                      Chenopodium murale (nettleleaf goosefoot)ChenopodiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                        Chrysanthemum morifolium (chrysanthemum (florists'))AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                          Cichorium intybus (chicory)AsteraceaeOther
                                                                                                            Cirsium arvense (creeping thistle)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                              Citrullus colocynthis (colocynth)CucurbitaceaeOther
                                                                                                                Citrullus lanatus (watermelon)CucurbitaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                  Citrus aurantium (sour orange)RutaceaeOther
                                                                                                                    Citrus sinensis (navel orange)RutaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                      Cleome viscosa (Asian spiderflower)CapparaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                        Clerodendrum inermeLamiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                          Coleus blumei (common coleus)LamiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                            Combretum indicum (Rangoon creeper)CombretaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                              Convolvulus arvensis (bindweed)ConvolvulaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                Convolvulus prostratusConvolvulaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                  Conyza bonariensis (hairy fleabane)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                    Conyza canadensis (Canadian fleabane)AsteraceaeOther
                                                                                                                                      Corchorus antichorusTiliaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                        Corchorus trilocularisTiliaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                          Cressa creticaConvolvulaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                            Croton sparciflorumEuphorbiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                              Cucumis tetragonaCucurbitaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                Cucurbita (pumpkin)CucurbitaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                  Cucurbita moschata (pumpkin)CucurbitaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                    Cuscuta reflexa (dodder)CuscutaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                      Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (guar)FabaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                        Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass)PoaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                          Cyperus rotundus (purple nutsedge)CyperaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                            Dalbergia sissooFabaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                              Datura metel (Hindu datura)SolanaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                Daucus carota (carrot)ApiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                  Digera muricataChenopodiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                    Duranta erecta (golden dewdrop)VerbenaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                      Echinochloa colona (junglerice)PoaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                        Elettaria cardamomum (cardamom)ZingiberaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                          Eleusine indica (goose grass)PoaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                            Emilia sonchifolia (red tasselflower)AsteraceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                              Encelia farinosaAsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                EnceliopsisAsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                  Eragrostis minorPoaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                    EriophyllumAsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                      Eucalyptus camaldulensis (red gum)MyrtaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                        Euphorbia (spurges)EuphorbiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                          Euphorbia cotinifoliaWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                            Euphorbia hirta (garden spurge)EuphorbiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                              Euphorbia prostrataEuphorbiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                Euphorbia trigona (African milk weed)EuphorbiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fagonia creticaZygophyllaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ficus benghalensis (banyan)MoraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ficus carica (common fig)MoraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ficus virens (grey fig)MoraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                          FranseriaWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gardenia jasminoides (cape jasmine)RubiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gossypium arboreum (cotton, tree)MalvaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gossypium hirsutum (Bourbon cotton)MalvaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grewia asiatica (phalsa)TiliaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hamelia patensRubiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Helianthus (sunflower)AsteraceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Helianthus annuus (sunflower)AsteraceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Heliotropium europaeum (common heliotrope)BoraginaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Heliotropium strigosumBoraginaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Herissantia crispaWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hibiscus (rosemallows)MalvaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hibiscus mutabilis (cottonrose)MalvaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (China-rose)MalvaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)ConvolvulaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory)ConvolvulaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jacquemontia pentanthaConvolvulaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jasminum cuspidatumOleaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jasminum sambac (Arabian jasmine)OleaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jatropha integerrima (peregrina)EuphorbiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kallstroemia brachystylisZygophyllaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)CucurbitaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lagerstroemia indica (Indian crape myrtle)LythraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lantana camara (lantana)VerbenaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Launia nudicaulisAsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lawsonia inermis (Egyptian privet)LythraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Luffa aegyptiaca (loofah)CucurbitaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lupinus spp.FabaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lycium chinense (chinese wolfberry)SolanaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Malva parvifloraWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Malvastrum coromandelianumMalvaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Malvaviscus arboreus (wax mallow)MalvaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Medicago polymorpha (bur clover)FabaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Melaleuca quinquenervia (paperbark tree)MyrtaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Melia azedarach (Chinaberry)MeliaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Melilotus indica (Indian sweetclover)FabaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mentha longifoliaLamiaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mentha piperita (Peppermint)LamiaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Momordica charantia (bitter gourd)CucurbitaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Morus alba (mora)MoraceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nerium oleander (oleander)ApocynaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nicotiana plumbaginifolia (Tex-Mex tobacco)SolanaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ocimum basilicum (basil)LamiaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Orobanche (broomrape)OrobanchaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oxalis corniculata (creeping woodsorrel)OxalidaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PanaxAraliaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PartheniumMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Parthenium hysterophorus (parthenium weed)AsteraceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Persicaria glabraPolygonaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Phyllanthus niruri (seed-under-the-leaf)EuphorbiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Physalis (Groundcherry)SolanaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Physalis alkekengiSolanaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Piper betle (betel pepper)PiperaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plumeria (frangipani)ApocynaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Plumeria rubra var. acutifolia (Mexican frangipani)ApocynaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Polyalthea longifoliaAnnonaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Polygonum barbatum (knot grass)PolygonaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Portulaca grandiflora (Rose moss)PortulacaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Portulaca oleracea (purslane)PortulacaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ricinus communis (castor bean)EuphorbiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rosa chinensis (China rose)RosaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ruellia squarrosaAcanthaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rumex dentatusWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Salsola baryosmaChenopodiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Salvadora oleoidesSalvadoraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Salvia officinalis (common sage)LamiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sesamum indicum (sesame)PedaliaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sesbania sesban (sesban)FabaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sida rhombifoliaMalvaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sida urensMalvaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba)SimmondsiaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Solanum elaeagnifolium (silverleaf nightshade)SolanaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Solanum melongena (aubergine)SolanaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Solanum muricatum (melon pear)SolanaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)SolanaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Solanum spp.SolanaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Solanum tuberosum (potato)SolanaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Solanum virginianumSolanaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sonchus oleraceus (common sowthistle)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SpermacoceWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Suaeda (sea blite)ChenopodiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Suaeda nigraChenopodiaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Synsepalum dulcificumSapotaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tabernaemontana divaricataApocynaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tagetes erecta (Mexican marigold)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Taraxacum officinale complex (dandelion)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tecoma stans (yellow bells)BignoniaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tinospora cordifoliaMenispermaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tradescantia pallida (purple queen)CommelinaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trianthema portulacastrum (horse purslane)AizoaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Trianthema triquetraAizoaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tribulus terrestris (puncture vine)ZygophyllaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Trigonella polycerataFabaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Urena lobata (caesar weed)MalvaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Verbena officinalisVerbenaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Withania somnifera (poisonous gooseberry)SolanaceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Xanthium strumarium (common cocklebur)AsteraceaeWild host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube)RhamnaceaeWild host

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Growth Stages

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Vegetative growing stage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Symptoms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The extraction of phloem sap by the mealybugs results in the leaves of the plant turning yellow and becoming crinkled or malformed, which leads to loss of plant vigour, foliage and fruit drop, and potential death of the plant if not treated. Phloem feeding affects the growing regions of the plant, often resulting in bunched and stunted growth (Dhawan et al., 2009b; Jagadish et al., 2009a), with plants producing smaller fruit or flowers, which ultimately leads to a reduction in seed or fruit yields.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            List of Symptoms/Signs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            SignLife StagesType
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fruit / abnormal patterns
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fruit / abnormal shape
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fruit / discoloration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fruit / internal feeding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fruit / premature drop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Growing point / dieback
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Growing point / discoloration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Growing point / distortion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Growing point / honeydew or sooty mould
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Growing point / internal feeding; boring
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Inflorescence / dieback
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Inflorescence / discoloration (non-graminaceous plants)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Inflorescence / distortion (non-graminaceous plants)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Inflorescence / dwarfing; stunting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Inflorescence / honeydew or sooty mould
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Inflorescence / internal feeding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Inflorescence / wilt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leaves / abnormal colours
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leaves / abnormal leaf fall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leaves / leaves rolled or folded
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leaves / necrotic areas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leaves / wilting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leaves / yellowed or dead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Roots / internal feeding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Roots / reduced root system
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stems / distortion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stems / honeydew or sooty mould
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stems / internal feeding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stems / witches broom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whole plant / discoloration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whole plant / distortion; rosetting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whole plant / dwarfing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whole plant / early senescence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whole plant / internal feeding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whole plant / plant dead; dieback
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whole plant / wilt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Biology and Ecology

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Reproductive Biology

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            P. solenopsis reproduces sexually and has multiple generations annually, the number depending on temperature and host quality. Each adult female lays 150 to 600 eggs, protected within a waxy ovisac (Lu et al., 2008). Females undergo three immature stages prior to reaching adulthood, whereas males undergo first-instar nymph, second-instar nymph, prepupal and pupal stages prior to adulthood. The period of development from crawler to adult is approximately 25-30 days, depending upon temperature and host quality (García Morales et al., 2016).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nutrition

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The mealybugs feed by extracting sap from phloem cells in leaves or stems. The sap contains water, soluble sugars, phenols, proteins and other potential nutrients. Mealybug-infested leaves produce high quantities of sugars and proteins compared to the amounts produced in uninfested leaves (Jagadish et al., 2009a). Conversely, Jagadish et al. (2009a) reported a decline in the phenol content in infested sunflower plants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Environmental Requirements

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maximum temperature and sunshine hours have a positive influence on P. solenopsis, whereas high relative humidity and rainfall have a negative influence (Suresh and Kavitha, 2008b). The mealybugs are capable of surviving temperatures ranging from 0-45°C (Sharma, 2007). The location of the feeding site on the plant appears to be influenced by humidity, as Hodgson et al. (2008) concluded that P. solenopsis occurred more commonly on the roots, stems and foliage close to the soil line in very dry climates compared to settling on the upper foliage in more humid areas (Gerson, 2020).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Climate

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Af - Tropical rainforest climate Tolerated > 60mm precipitation per month
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            B - Dry (arid and semi-arid) Preferred < 860mm precipitation annually
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            D - Continental/Microthermal climate Tolerated Continental/Microthermal climate (Average temp. of coldest month < 0°C, mean warmest month > 10°C)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Df - Continental climate, wet all year Tolerated Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Tolerated Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Tolerated Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Latitude/Altitude Ranges

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            42 31

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Air Temperature

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mean annual temperature (ºC) 0 45

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Natural enemies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Acerophagus gutierreziae Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aenasius Parasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aenasius advena Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aenasius arizonensis Parasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aenasius bambawalei Parasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aenasius phenacocci Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Alamella flava Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Allotropa phenacocca Parasite Chena et al. (2011)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anagyrus chrysos Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anagyrus dactylopii Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anagyrus kamali Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anagyrus mirzai Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anagyrus osmoi Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anagyrus pseudococci Parasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anthocoris muraleedharani Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific Tong et al. (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aprostocetus minutus Parasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Blaptostethus pallescens Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific Tong et al. (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Blepyrus insularis Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Brumoides suturalis Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific Yonas and Umar (2019) Pakistan Cotton
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chalcaspis phenacocci Parasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chartocerus dactylopii Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chartocerus subaeneus Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cheilomenes sexmaculata Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cheiloneurus Hyperparasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chilocorus nigrita Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific Tong et al. (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chrysoperla carnea Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific Yonas and Umar (2019) Pakistan Cotton
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chrysoperla zastrowi Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific Tong et al. (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Predator Eggs/Larvae not specific Yonas and Umar (2019) Pakistan Cotton
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dicrodiplosis manihoti Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific Tong et al. (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gyranusoidea indica Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harmonia dimidiata Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific Tong et al. (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harmonia octomaculata Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hyperaspis maindroni Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hypoaspis Predator Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leptomastix dactylopii Parasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marietta Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nephus regularis Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pachyneuron Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Paranathrix tachikawai Parasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prochiloneurus aegyptiacus Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prochiloneurus dactylopii Parasite Larvae not specific Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prochiloneurus nagasakiensis Parasite Larvae not specific Tong et al. (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prochiloneurus stenopterus Parasite Larvae to species Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prochiloneurus uyguni Parasite Larvae to species Noyes (2020)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Promuscidea unfasciativentris Hyperparasite Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rodolia fumida Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scymnus coccivora Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scymus Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae not specific

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Notes on Natural Enemies

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The solenopsis mealybug possesses a number of defence capabilities to protect itself from natural enemies. The waxy secretions that cover the body often protects it from attack by parasitoids and predators. This waxy covering may be the reason for the rare occurrence by pathogens and nematodes infesting the mealybug (Franco et al., 2009). Also, ants often attend the mealybugs for the honeydew they excrete and in return, often defend the mealybugs from natural enemies. The solenopsis mealybug was initially discovered in a nest of Solenopsis geminata (Tinsley, 1898a). More recently, P. solenopsis has been recorded in the nests of the southern fire ant (Taber, 2000) and associated with several other species of ants including Myrmicaria brunnea, Oecopylla smaragdina, Solenopsis invicta, and Tapinoma melanocephalum (Helms and Vinson, 2002; Jagadish et al., 2008, 2009b; Zhou et al., 2012).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Several parasitoids and predators have been documented attacking P. solenopsis. Three parasitic wasps (Chalcaspis arizonensis, Cheiloneurus sp., and Aprostocetus minutus) were discovered attacking the mealybug on cotton in Texas, USA (Fuchs et al., 1991). In India, an unidentified species of the solitary endoparasitoid genus Aenasius was reported to attack P. solenopsis (Sharma, 2007; Tanwar et al., 2008). Hayat (2009) described a new species of parasitoid from India, Aenasius bambawalei, associated with P. solenopsis, which has been documented as a very effective biological control agent. Parasitized mealybugs cease feeding and their exoskeletons turn into reddish-brown mummies (Pala Ram et al., 2009). This parasitoid has been reported to parasitize up to 72% of P. solenopsis on cotton in some districts in India (Muniappan, 2009; Pala Ram et al., 2009). Within one growing season, on okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) parasitism of P. solenopsis by A. bambawalei reached 89% parasitism at harvest time (Sharma, 2007). In addition, Paranathrix tachikawai was recorded parasitizing 30-39% of the mealybugs on cotton in India (Bambawale, 2008). However, a hyperparasitoid, Promuscidea unfasciativentris, attacks A. bambawalei, which potentially may reduce the efficiency of this parasitoid as a biological control agent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Several predator species are associated with P. solenopsis. Most predators require high populations of prey to complete their development. Cryptolaemus montrouzieri has been used to control several mealybug pest species. In India, two coccinellids (Brumoides suturalis and Hyperaspis maindroni) were identified to be associated with P. solenopsis (Patel et al., 2009). Most predators feed on the eggs or crawlers within the mealybug’s ovisac and reduce the number of mealybugs available to extract sap and weaken the plant. Other predators like the larvae of the lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea, were found to consume 30 mealybug eggs daily in developmental laboratory tests (Rabinder Kaur et al., 2008).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Means of Movement and Dispersal

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            First-instar nymphs are the primary dispersal stage of P. solenopsis but they are capable of crawling only about one metre. Local and regional movement of P. solenopsis is mainly passive, by wind, irrigation water and by attachment to passing insects, birds, people and agricultural machinery. The species may be dispersed over long distances by trade in infested plants in air or sea cargo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The solenopsis mealybug is native to the southwestern USA; material from Central and South America is similar to specimens collected from West Africa (Hodgson et al., 2008), whereas specimens from Thailand, Taiwan and New Caledonia appear morphologically to be more similar to specimens from India and Pakistan. Hodgson et al. (2008) inferred that material found in Asia may have been accidentally introduced through international commerce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            First-instar nymphs (crawlers) are the main active dispersal stage of P. solenopsis, walking short distances to locate suitable feeding sites on the leaves, stems, leaf petioles, and bracts. Generally the crawlers are not efficient at dispersing, so infestations develop into dense colonies that damage the host plant (Charleston and Murray, 2010). Wax strands covering the body may facilitate passive transport by wind or water; crawlers are commonly carried by wind across distances between a few metres and several kilometres (Arif et al., 2012).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Vector Transmission (Biotic)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Crawlers are also dispersed passively by passing animals (including humans) and agricultural machinery (Arif et al., 2012). The attendant ant Oecophylla smaragdina has been observed to move some of the mealybugs to other locations on the plant to feed (Jagadish et al., 2009b). The waxy test covering the body can adhere to passing animals or peoples’ clothes or agricultural machinery, allowing specimens to be transported long distances from the original infestation before becoming dislodged in new, previously uninfested areas. Infested host-plant material transported by people from one area to another is an important means of distribution for the mealybug over long distances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Accidental Introduction

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Commercial trade involving infested plants may often be the cause for spread of P. solenopsis over long distances. Movement of infested plants and contaminated agricultural equipment from an infested area to a non-infested area may also be involved in the accidental spread of the mealybug (Arif et al., 2012).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plant Trade

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx adults; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fruits (inc. pods) adults; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leaves adults; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Roots adults; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches adults; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Economic Impact

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            P. solenopsis is an important plant pest worldwide (Williams and Granara de Willink, 1992; Hodgson et al., 2008); its feeding can cause leaves to turn yellow and results in premature defoliation, reduced plant growth or plant death. The mealybug can inflict significant damage to field crops (i.e. cotton and tobacco). This mealybug caused serious damage to cotton and other crops in Pakistan (Saeed et al., 2007; Dhawan et al., 2009a, b), India (Jhala et al., 2008; Bhosle et al., 2009), Israel (Spodek et al., 2018), China (Ahmed et al., 2015) and Australia (Charleston and Murray, 2010). It is a pest of commercial crops including a variety of vegetables, grapes (Vitis vinifera), jute (Corchorus spp.), mesta (Hibiscus cannabinus) and tobacco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producing country and its economy is heavily dependent on the production of cotton for foreign income; cotton production accounts for 8.2% of the value added in agriculture and 2% of the GDP. The damage to cotton caused by P. solenopsis can significantly impact the economy, with an estimated 14% loss and a 44% reduction in seed-cotton yields in Pakistan in 2005 (Dhawan et al., 2009b). In Punjab, India there were significant losses in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 (Anon., 2005; Hodgson et al., 2008; Dhawan et al., 2009a). The intense mealybug attack on Bt cotton caused significant economic losses to growers in the Punjab region (Dutt, 2007). In 2007, the number of hectares committed to growing cotton increased over the previous year, but cotton production declined significantly (Dutt, 2007). In some regions of India, field crop losses in cotton have ranged from 30-80% (Nalwar et al., 2009). However, the grower is required to implement chemical applications to save the crop, resulting in increased production costs as well as potential chemical contamination of soil and water. Similar problems are being caused by P. solenopsis in other countries where it has become established.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Environmental Impact

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Due to its great reproductive capacity P. solenopsis has the potential to damage or kill native plant species, which could facilitate their displacement by other more aggressive species, so altering the ecological balance of the plant community. Wang et al. (2009) projected that P. solenopsis could infest regions within 17 provinces of China and posed a pest risk analysis score of 0.856 to the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Social Impact

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The impact of the mealybug on Bt cotton often requires numerous expensive pesticide applications to protect the crop. Because of reduced cotton yield and honeydew-fouled lint bringing lower prices, farmers in some areas consider cultivating other crops instead. The additional pest control requirements for growing Bt cotton subject to P. solenopsis infestation often result in a reduced profit margin that impacts the standard of living of producers and homeowners. P. solenopsis attacks and damages numerous ornamental plants, so it has can affect the aesthetic appearance of infested areas, impacting tourism in the region.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Risk and Impact Factors

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Invasiveness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Invasive in its native range
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Proved invasive outside its native range
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Highly adaptable to different environments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Is a habitat generalist
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Tolerant of shade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fast growing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Has high reproductive potential
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gregarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Impact outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Host damage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Negatively impacts agriculture
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Negatively impacts livelihoods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Damages animal/plant products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Impact mechanisms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Interaction with other invasive species
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Likelihood of entry/control
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Difficult/costly to control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Diagnosis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top of page

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In life, body of female 2-5 mm long, oval, dusted with powdery white wax but often with 2 submedian lines of dark grey bare patches, with 3 conspicuous pairs of patches on anterior abdominal segments and often 1 or 2 less obvious pairs on thorax. Marginal wax filaments very short but longest at posterior end; a short, fluffy white ovisac secreted at maturity. Venter of abdmen with a dark circulus visible on midline. Adult male Phenacoccus mealybugs have 1 pair of wings and 2 pairs of long white wax tail filaments. Microscopic examination of the adult female is required to verify the species identity, or molecular analysis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            On a microscope slide, body of adult female oval, with 18 pairs of cerarii on margins, each cerarius containing 2 lanceolate setae. Quinquelocular pores absent, and antennae usually 9 segmented. Multilocular pores absent from dorsum, present ventrally at least around vulva and on posterior abdominal segments, medial area of abdominal segment VII with pores scattered across entire depth of segment from anterior edge to posterior edge. Translucent pores present on hind tibia; claw with a denticle. Dorsal setae short and lanceolate. Circulus usually oval and small, often slightly sclerotized, present between abdominal segments III and IV. Specimens living in hot conditions may have a few translucent pores near apex of hind femur, and small clusters of ventral multilocular disc pores on submargins of some or most abdominal segments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Molecular characterisation of P. solenopsis was carried out by Tian et al. (2013) and its gene sequences are available on GenBank.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Detection and Inspection

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Initiate field surveys to detect potential infestations early in the growing season, to provide maximum opportunities for spot treatments (either by hand picking or pesticidal sprays) to prevent spread and limit damage to commercial crops. Closely examine stems, leaves and flowers for small white oval insects without wings, each often with 2 broken grey submedian longitudinal stripes. In addition, check for infestation of the base of the plant several millimetres below the soil surface. The presence of sticky honeydew deposits and traces of sooty mould on the leaves may also indicate presence of an infestation. Sticky traps set out in the fields and around their borders can be used to detect the presence of the winged male mealybugs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            P. solenopsis is closely related to P. solani (of which P. defectus is a junior synonym (Chatzidimitriou et al., 2016)). However, adult female P. solenopsis have (contrasting condition in P. solani): antenna usually 9 segmented (usually 8 segmented); ventral multilocular disc pores present as far forward as abdominal segment VI (as far forward as abdominal segment IV); multilocular disc pores on middle of segment VII present across entire depth of segment (present in distinct rows along anterior and/or posterior edges of segment VII, the pores sometimes very few); submargins of abdominal segments sometimes with small groups of multilocular pores (lacking submarginal multilocular pores); and distal end of hind femur sometimes with a few translucent pores (hind femur never with translucent pores; Zhao et al., 2014).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prevention and Control

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prevention

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            SPS measures

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Several countries require inspection of plant material imported from countries where P. solenopsis is known to occur. China has initiated a notice of inspection and quarantine for P. solenopsis (Ministry of Agriculture, 2009).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Early warning systems

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Use of sticky traps placed throughout the field is an effective means to monitor for the presence and population density of P. solenopsis, by catching the winged males.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cultural control and sanitary measures

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is important to cut infested stems or branches from plants and destroy the infested plant material by burning or deep burial; infested prunings must not be left lying in the field, as the mealybugs will walk onto nearby plants. After harvest, crop residue and weeds left in infested fields should be gathered up and buried or burned, as mealybugs on plant material left in the field can survive to infest the next crop. Field borders should be inspected for alternative host plants for the mealybug; these should be removed to prevent the mealybugs from overwintering and infesting the next crop. Trap plants like Hibiscus rosa-sinensis may be planted, to initially attract the mealybugs; these serve to alert farmers to the presence of P. solenopsis in the field, and can then be treated to protect the primary crop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Physical/mechanical control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Small populations of P. solenopsis can be controlled by regular inspection of plants, removing loose bark where mealybugs might be difficult to observe and hand-picking or crushing specimens from newly-infested plants.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Movement control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When working in fields known to be infested with P. solenopsis, it is necessary to sanitize farm equipment and check clothing items before movement to uninfested fields, to prevent the transfer of the pest to new locations. Infested prunings should be destroyed on site, not transported elsewhere for disposal, as crawlers falling off transported material will infest plants along the route.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Biological control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The use of biological control agents provides a cost-effective, non-toxic, self-perpetuating means of suppressing invasive pest populations of exotic mealybugs. Several parasitoids and predators have been identified that attack P. solenopsis and can control pest populations at low densities. Established parasitoids have been recorded parasitizing over 70% of the cotton mealybug population (Pala Ram et al., 2009). Other tactics suggested to suppress populations of P. solenopsis include allowing the parasitoids to build up their numbers prior to applying chemical insecticides, and to use pesticides that minimise parasitoid fatalities; to attach plant parts bearing parasitoid-infested mealybugs (mummies) onto the host plant to be protected; mass-rearing and releasing parasitoids into mealybug-infested areas; and using a combination of several natural enemies to control the exotic pest (Pala Ram et al., 2009). Predators are used to control P. solenopsis on cotton in several countries. The commercially available predatory ladybeetle, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidaae), has been imported into India and released in cotton-infested fields to help to control P. solenopsis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Several species of ants are often associated with honeydew-producing mealybugs, and protect them from attack by their natural enemies. To increase the chances of success in using biological control agents against P. solenopsis, attendant ants need to be eradicated if at all possible (Helms and Vinson, 2002; Tanwar et al., 2007).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chemical control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is often effective to spot treat small populations of the mealybug, detected during early monitoring, with soap solution. Before Bt cotton was introduced to Pakistan and India, P. solenopsis was considered to be a secondary pest of cotton, maintained at low population levels by chemical applications to control the primary pest, Helicoverpa armigera. With the cultivation of transgenic cotton with a reduced need for chemical applications, the mealybug emerged as a major pest requiring chemical applications to manage it. The use of insecticides is most effective against the mealybug when applications are timed to coincide with emergence of the vulnerable crawler stage. The use of ant baits to eliminate mealybug-attendant ants from the field is also beneficial. Dhawan et al. (2008; 2009a) evaluated the effectiveness of a variety of insecticides against P. solenopsis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            IPM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In India, a management strategem to control P.solenopsis that incorporates cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical control factors has been developed (Tanwar et al., 2007). This involves a pre-planting survey for P. solenopsis; targeting and spot treating small populations chemically; removal of alternate host plants and ant colonies; using recommended insecticides for optimal effectiveness on the plants and around their root systems; providing an attractive habitat for native and exotic natural enemies; and using a variety of sanitation methods to prevent spread of the pest to new fields.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Monitoring and surveillance

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The placing of sticky traps in the fields and around their borders, to catch P. solenopsis males, is useful in early detection of the mealybug in the area. Observations of plant stems, leaves and flowers aid in detecting the white, waxy masses produced by P. solenopsis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The biology, development and control of P. solenopsis need to be researched further to determine the biotic and abiotic factors that may impact its development and survival. Because the mealybug has a varied host range, studies on the preferred hosts could aid in developing and implementing effective control methods. Comprehensive studies need to be conducted on the parasitoids and predators associated with P. solenopsis, including their life histories, and a determination of the combinations of natural enemies that would be most effective in suppressing the pest populations in areas with different climatic conditions and altitudes. It is important that information is obtained and distributed regarding those risk factors that may be necessary to address in order to implement a successful control programme. Evaluation of the impact of crop damage or loss in reference to the use of chemical applications, compared to the time needed to develop established natural enemy populations to suppress P. solenopsis, need further study.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            References

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Abbas G, Arif MJ, Saeed S, 2005. Systematic status of a new species of genus Phenacoccus cockerell (Pseudococcidae) a serious pest of cotton Gossypium hirsutum L. in Pakistan. Pakistan Entomologist, 27(1), 83-84.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Abbas G, Arif MJ, Saeed S, Karar H, 2009. A new invasive species of genus Phenacoccus cockerell attacking cotton in Pakistan. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 11(1), 54-58. http://www.fspublishers.org/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Abbas, G., Arif, M. J., Saeed, S., Karar, H., 2008. Increasing menace of a new mealybug, Phenacoccus gossypiphilous, to the economic crops of southern Asia. In: Proceedings of the XI International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies, Oeiras, Portugal, 24-27 September 2007 [Proceedings of the XI International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies, Oeiras, Portugal, 24-27 September 2007], [ed. by Branco, M., Franco, J. C., Hodgson, C. J.]. Lisbon, Portugal: ISA Press. 322 pp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Abdul-Rassoul MS, Al-Malo IM, Hermiz FB, 2015. First record and host plants of solenopsis mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley, 1898 (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) from Iraq. Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (JBES), 7(2):216-222. http://www.innspub.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/JBES-Vol7No2-p216-222.pdf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ahmed, M. Z., Ma Jun, Qiu BaoLi, He RiRong, Wu MuTao, Liang Fan, Zhao JuPeng, Lin Li, Hu XueNan, Lv LiHua, Breinholt, J. W., Lu YongYue, 2015. Genetic record for a recent invasion of Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Asia. Environmental Entomology, 44(3), 907-918. http://www.bioone.org/loi/enve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Akintola AJ, Ande AT, 2008. First record of Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in Nigeria. Agricultural Journal, 3(1):1-3. http://www.medwelljournals.com/fulltext/aj/2008/1-3.pdf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Akintola AJ, Ande AT, 2009. Pest status and ecology of five mealy bugs (Family: Pseudococcidae) in the Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria. Journal of Entomological Research, 33(1):9-13. http://www.indianjournals.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anon., 2005. Weekly pest scouting reports. In: Weekly pest scouting reports Lahore, Pakistan: Directorate General, Pest Warning and Quality Control of Pesticides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Arif MI, Muhammad Rafiq, Abdul Ghaffar, 2009. Host plants of cotton mealybug (Phenacoccus solenopsis): a new menace to cotton agroecosystem of Punjab, Pakistan. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 11(2):163-167. http://www.fspublishers.org/

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            11/12/09 Original text by:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Paris Lambdin, Department of Entomology, Agricultural Experimental Station, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901, USA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13/01/20 Updated by:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gillian Watson, Consultant, UK

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