Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Dysmicoccus brevipes
(pineapple mealybug)



Dysmicoccus brevipes (pineapple mealybug)


  • Last modified
  • 14 July 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Vector of Plant Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Dysmicoccus brevipes
  • Preferred Common Name
  • pineapple mealybug
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Heavy infestations conspicuous because of white waxy adults which often occur at growing points, around stem nodes, on undersides of leaves, on fruit and on roots - pictured here on pineapple, Ivory Coast.
TitleInfestation on pineapple
CaptionHeavy infestations conspicuous because of white waxy adults which often occur at growing points, around stem nodes, on undersides of leaves, on fruit and on roots - pictured here on pineapple, Ivory Coast.
CopyrightCrown Copyright
Heavy infestations conspicuous because of white waxy adults which often occur at growing points, around stem nodes, on undersides of leaves, on fruit and on roots - pictured here on pineapple, Ivory Coast.
Infestation on pineappleHeavy infestations conspicuous because of white waxy adults which often occur at growing points, around stem nodes, on undersides of leaves, on fruit and on roots - pictured here on pineapple, Ivory Coast.Crown Copyright


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell, 1893)

Preferred Common Name

  • pineapple mealybug

Other Scientific Names

  • Dactylopius (Pseudococcud) ananassae Kuwana
  • Dactylopius brevipes Cockerell, 1893
  • Dactylopius bromeliae
  • Dysmicoccus bromeliae Auct.
  • Dysmicoccus cannae
  • Dysmicoccus pseudobrevipes (Mamet)
  • Pseudococcus brevipes (Cockerell), Fernald, 1903
  • Pseudococcus bromeliae
  • Pseudococcus cannae Green, 1934
  • Pseudococcus longirostralis James, 1936
  • Pseudococcus missionum Cockerell, 1910
  • Pseudococcus palauensis Kanda, 1933
  • Pseudococcus pseudobrevipes Mamet, 1941

International Common Names

  • Spanish: chinche harinosa de la piña; escama harinosa de la piña; palomilla de la raiz de la piña; piojo harinoso de la piña
  • French: cochenille farineuse de l'ananas

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: cochonilha do abacaxizeiro; cochonilha pulverulenta do abacaxi
  • Germany: ananas-schmierlaus
  • South Africa: pynappelwitluis

EPPO code

  • DYSMBR (Dysmicoccus brevipes)

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Coccoidea
  •                                 Family: Pseudococcidae
  •                                     Genus: Dysmicoccus
  •                                         Species: Dysmicoccus brevipes

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page D. brevipes, commonly known as the pineapple mealybug, was originally described from specimens collected from pineapple in Jamaica. Ito (1938) pointed out that there were two distinct types of pineapple mealybug in Hawaii, which he referred to as the pink and grey forms. The pink form reproduced parthenogenetically and the grey form biparentally. Beardsley (1959) found morphological differences between them and described the grey form as D. neobrevipes. In some other regions of the world, there is a third form morphologically indistinguishable from D. brevipes which is biparental, and on the basis of its biology, a distinct species (Rohrbach et al., 1988). For the purposes of this data sheet the biparental and uniparental forms of D. brevipes are regarded as the same species.


Top of page Authoritative identification involves detailed microscopic examination of teneral adult females. Beardsley (1959, 1965) discussed the important morphological characters that separated D. brevipes from closely-related species. Detailed morphological descriptions, illustrations and keys to Dysmicoccus are provided by McKenzie (1967), Williams and Watson (1988) and Williams and Granara de Willink (1992).


Top of page D. brevipes originated in tropical America (Rohrbach et al., 1988) and has spread to all zoogeographical regions, mainly in the tropics and subtropics (see also CIE (1972) and Ben-Dov (1994)). It is probably one of the commonest mealybugs in Central and South America (Williams and Granara de Willink, 1992).

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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


BangladeshPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Brunei DarussalamPresentWaterhouse, 1993
CambodiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993
IndiaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
-Andhra PradeshPresentCIE, 1972
-AssamPresentCIE, 1972
-KarnatakaPresentMani and Thontadarya, 1987
-KeralaPresentCIE, 1972
-OdishaPresentCIE, 1972
-Tamil NaduPresentCIE, 1972
-TripuraPresentDas, 1988
-West BengalPresentCIE, 1972
IndonesiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993; Ben-Dov, 1994
-Irian JayaPresentCIE, 1972; Williams and Watson, 1988
-KalimantanPresentCIE, 1972
IranPresentMoghadam, 2004
JapanPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentCIE, 1972
MalaysiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993; Ben-Dov, 1994
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentCIE, 1972
-SabahPresentCIE, 1972
-SarawakPresentCIE, 1972
PakistanPresentBen-Dov, 1994
PhilippinesPresentCIE, 1972; Waterhouse, 1993; Ben-Dov, 1994
SingaporePresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Sri LankaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
TaiwanPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994; Huang and Lin, 2014
ThailandPresentPitaksa et al., 2000
VietnamPresentWaterhouse, 1993; Ben-Dov, 1994


AngolaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
BeninPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Burkina FasoPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
BurundiPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
CameroonPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
ChadPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
CongoPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Côte d'IvoirePresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
EgyptPresentCIE, 1972
GhanaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
GuineaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
KenyaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
MadagascarPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
MalawiPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
MaliPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
MauritiusPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
MozambiquePresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
NigerPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
NigeriaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
RéunionPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
RwandaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Saint HelenaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AscensionPresentMalumphy et al., 2015
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
SenegalPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
SeychellesPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Sierra LeonePresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
SomaliaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
South AfricaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-Canary IslandsPresentPerez et al., 1984
SudanPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
TanzaniaPresentCIE, 1972; Bohlen, 1973; Ben-Dov, 1994
-ZanzibarPresentBen-Dov, 1994
TogoPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
UgandaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
ZambiaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994

North America

BermudaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
MexicoPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994; Villatoro-Moreno et al., 2016
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-CaliforniaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
-FloridaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-HawaiiPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-LouisianaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
BahamasPresentBen-Dov, 1994
BarbadosPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
BelizePresentBen-Dov, 1994
Cayman IslandsPresentBen-Dov, 1994
Costa RicaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
CubaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
DominicaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
Dominican RepublicPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
El SalvadorPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
GrenadaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
GuadeloupePresentPanis et al., 1974
GuatemalaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
HaitiPresentBen-Dov, 1994
HondurasPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
JamaicaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
MartiniquePresentBen-Dov, 1994
MontserratPresentBen-Dov, 1994
NicaraguaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
PanamaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Puerto RicoWidespreadCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentBen-Dov, 1994
Saint LuciaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
Trinidad and TobagoPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
United States Virgin IslandsPresentBen-Dov, 1994

South America

ArgentinaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
BoliviaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-BahiaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-CearaPresentCIE, 1972
-Espirito SantoPresentCulik et al., 2009; Culik and Ventura, 2013
-Mato GrossoPresentCIE, 1972
-Minas GeraisPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-ParaPresentCIE, 1972
-ParanaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-PernambucoPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-PiauiPresentCIE, 1972
-Rio de JaneiroPresentCIE, 1972
-Rio Grande do SulPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-Santa CatarinaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-Sao PauloPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
ChilePresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Easter IslandPresentCharlin, 1973
ColombiaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
EcuadorPresentBen-Dov, 1994
GuyanaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
ParaguayPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
PeruPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
SurinamePresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
VenezuelaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994


ItalyRestricted distributionTranfaglia, 1983
PortugalPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AzoresPresentCIE, 1972
-MadeiraPresentCIE, 1972
SpainPresentPresent based on regional distribution.


American SamoaPresentWilliams and Watson, 1988
AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentBen-Dov, 1994
-New South WalesPresentBen-Dov, 1994
-QueenslandPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
-Western AustraliaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Cook IslandsPresentBen-Dov, 1994
FijiPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
French PolynesiaPresentBen-Dov, 1994
GuamPresentBen-Dov, 1994
KiribatiPresentBen-Dov, 1994
Marshall IslandsPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
New CaledoniaPresentCIE, 1972
NiuePresentBen-Dov, 1994
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentCIE, 1972
PalauPresentBen-Dov, 1994
Papua New GuineaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
SamoaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
Solomon IslandsPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
TokelauPresentBen-Dov, 1994
TongaPresentCIE, 1972; Ben-Dov, 1994
TuvaluPresentBen-Dov, 1994
VanuatuPresentBen-Dov, 1994
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentCIE, 1972

Risk of Introduction

Top of page D. brevipes is often injurious to crops especially when the mealybug is introduced to new geographical areas without natural enemies, or as a result of injudicious chemical spraying techniques. Areas where the mealybug occurs but where the mealybug wilt of pineapple is absent are at risk from the introduction of mealybugs carrying the virus. Areas where only the parthenogenetic form occurs are also at risk from the introduction of the biparental form.

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page D. brevipes is highly polyphagous, attacking plant species belonging to more than a 100 genera placed in 53 families (Ben-Dov, 1994). It is particularly common on pineapple but is also recorded on a wide range of other crops, mostly fruit crops and ornamentals, including avocado, banana, celery, citrus, clover, cocoa, coconut, coffee, cotton, custard apple, figs, ginger, guava, maize, mango, oil palm, orchids, groundnut, peppers, pineapple, plantain, potato and sugarcane.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeMain
Ananas comosus (pineapple)BromeliaceaeMain
Annona muricata (soursop)AnnonaceaeMain
Annona reticulata (bullock's heart)AnnonaceaeMain
Annona squamosa (sugar apple)AnnonaceaeMain
Apium graveolens (celery)ApiaceaeMain
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)FabaceaeMain
Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis (Chinese cabbage)BrassicaceaeMain
Canna indica (canna lilly)CannaceaeMain
Capsicum (peppers)SolanaceaeMain
Casuarina equisetifolia (casuarina)CasuarinaceaeMain
Cocos nucifera (coconut)ArecaceaeMain
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Colocasia esculenta (taro)AraceaeMain
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)CucurbitaceaeMain
Cucurbita (pumpkin)CucurbitaceaeMain
Cyperus appendiculatusCyperaceaeOther
Daucus carota (carrot)ApiaceaeMain
Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm)ArecaceaeMain
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain
Hedychium coronarium (white butterfly ginger lily)ZingiberaceaeOther
Hibiscus (rosemallows)MalvaceaeMain
Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)ConvolvulaceaeMain
Malus domestica (apple)RosaceaeMain
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeMain
Manihot esculenta (cassava)EuphorbiaceaeMain
Medicago sativa (lucerne)FabaceaeMain
Musa (banana)MusaceaeMain
Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan)SapindaceaeOther
Persea americana (avocado)LauraceaeMain
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeMain
Piper betle (betel pepper)PiperaceaeMain
Poaceae (grasses)PoaceaeMain
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeMain
Rhapis excelsaArecaceaeOther
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)PoaceaeMain
Solanum tuberosum (potato)SolanaceaeMain
Sorghum halepense (Johnson grass)PoaceaeMain
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)MalvaceaeMain
Trifolium pratense (red clover)FabaceaeMain
Trifolium repens (white clover)FabaceaeMain
Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeMain
Zingiber officinale (ginger)ZingiberaceaeMain

Growth Stages

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


Top of page On pineapple:

D. brevipes is common on the roots of pineapple and large colonies develop on the stems just above ground level. The mealybugs may spread upwards to feed in the floral cavities, on both small and mature fruit, and on the crown leaves. The symptoms of the wilt disease are preliminary reddening of leaves followed by a definite colour change from red to pink and an inward reflexing of the leaf margins; a general debility, loss of rigidity and wilted appearance, and finally a recovery state in which the plant grows fresh, apparently normal leaves (Rohrbach et al., 1988). Occasionally this wilting process can be very rapid. The severity of the wilt symptoms depends on the size of the mealybug population. Wilted plants have reduced weight, leaf surface area, number of leaves, leaf length and breadth and root length.

Feeding in the blossom cavities causes wounds which sometimes become contaminated by fungal spores resulting in a disorder called black spot. The biparental form of D. brevipes (and D. neobrevipes) can also cause local green or chlorotic spotting of the foliage.

On plants other than pineapple:

Infestations of D. brevipes occur on the foliage, stems and fruit. This results in reduced vigour and general debility of the host plant, yellow spotting on the undersides of leaves which may be shed prematurely, dieback of stems and wilting. Honeydew deposited on the leaves and fruit by the mealybugs serves as a medium for the growth of black sooty moulds. The sooty moulds result in a reduction of photosynthetic area. Ornamental plants and produce lose their market value.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / discoloration
Fruit / external feeding
Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould
Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould
Growing point / dead heart
Growing point / external feeding
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould
Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould
Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould
Roots / external feeding
Stems / discoloration
Stems / external feeding
Stems / honeydew or sooty mould
Whole plant / discoloration
Whole plant / external feeding

Biology and Ecology

Top of page The biology of the biparental form of D. brevipes has been studied in West Malaysia by Lim (1973), where it was becoming increasingly important as a pest of pineapple. The females had three nymphal instars, lasting 10.0, 6.7 and 7.9 days, respectively. The males had two nymphal instars, a prepupal and pupal stage, lasting 9.9, 5.8, 2.5 and 3.7 days, respectively. Development from first instar to adult took about 24 days in both sexes. The adult females lived for 17-49 days, whereas the adult males lived for 1-3 days. When gravid, ovoviviparous females could give rise to 19-137 first instars, over a period of 9.1 days, beginning 14.6 days after adulthood was reached. The sex ratio was 1:1. The life-cycle of the biparental form of D. brevipes was shorter than that of the parthenogenetic form in Hawaii.

The main dispersal stage of D. brevipes is the first instar which moves about actively for a short period, probably for no more than a day. The first instars may be dispersed by wind and animals. All life stages may be dispersed over longer distances in trade on consignments of plant material and fruit.

The parthenogenetic form of D. brevipes is largely confined to the lower portions of the pineapple plant, near ground level or below, whereas the biparental form of D. brevipes, together with D. neobrevipes, occur primarily on the crown and developing fruit.

Rohrbach et al. (1988) discussed the close association between pineapple wilt disease, mealybugs and ants on pineapple in Hawaii. Populations of the ant Pheidole megacephala and D. brevipes are mutually dependent. P. megacephala builds mud encasements around the mealybug colonies that afford protection from predation, parasitism, desiccation and adverse climatic conditions. The ants also remove the honeydew excreted by the mealybugs, thus preventing its accumulation and the potential growth of sooty mould, both of which can be harmful to the mealybugs. The ants also carry the mealybugs to new host plants, as they extend their territory.

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aenasius brasiliensis Parasite Hawaii apples
Anagyrus ananatis Parasite Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Anagyrus coccidivorus Parasite Puerto Rico apples
Anagyrus pseudococci Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Anagyrus sp. nr. kivuensis Parasite Hawaii apples
Arhopoideus peregrinus Parasite Hawaii apples
Blepyrus propinquus Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Blepyrus schwarzi Parasite Hawaii apples
Cleothera bromelicola Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Coccodiplosis formosana Predator Adults/Nymphs
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Predator Adults/Nymphs Mauritius; Philippines apples
Diadiplosis abacaxii Predator Culik and Ventura, 2013
Diadiplosis koebelei Predator Adults/Nymphs Philippines apples
Diadiplosis pseudococci Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples; Pinus; sugarcane
Dicrodiplosis guatemalensis Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Diomus margipallens Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Diomus neuenschwanderi Predator Adults/Nymphs Jamaica apples
Exochomus concavus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Hambeltonia pseudococcinna Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Hambletonia pseudococcinna Parasite Florida; Hawaii; Puerto Rico apples
Hyperaspis albicollis Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Hyperaspis c-nigrum Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Hyperaspis silvestrii Predator Adults/Nymphs Philippines apples
Leptomastix dactylopii Parasite Hawaii apples
Pseudaphycus angelicus Parasite Hawaii apples
Pseudaphycus dysmicocci Parasite Hawaii apples
Pseudaphycus malinus Parasite Hawaii apples
Pseudiastata pseudococcivora Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Rhyzobius ventralis Predator Adults/Nymphs
Scymnus bilucernarius Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Scymnus margipellens Predator Adults/Nymphs Philippines apples
Scymnus quadrivittatus Predator Adults/Nymphs Hawaii apples
Scymnus uncinatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Zaplatycerus fullawayi Parasite Hawaii apples

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Bartlett (1978) has given an account of the introduced parasitoids and predators used to control D. brevipes.


Top of page

D. brevipes is a cosmopolitan pest of pineapple and a vector of mealybug pineapple wilt disease which is a serious threat to commercial pineapple production. It was originally thought that the wilt disease was caused by the secretion of toxins from the mealybugs but a pineapple wilt-associated closterovirus has been isolated from infected plant material. The virus can be transmitted by low numbers of the pest. D. brevipes is also known to transmit the cocoa Trinidad virus (Diego Martin Valley isolate) in Trinidad (Williams and Granara de Willink, 1992). It is a pest of sugarcane (Williams and Granara de Willink, 1992), coffee (Le Pelley, 1968), plantain (Matile-Ferrero and Williams, 1995) and caused a yield loss of about 25% of groundnut in Tripura, India (Das, 1988).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Serianthes nelsoniiCR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesGuam; Northern Mariana IslandsPest and disease transmissionUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1994

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Impact mechanisms
  • Pest and disease transmission

Detection and Inspection

Top of page Heavy infestations are conspicuous because of the white waxy adults which often occur at the growing points, around the stem nodes, on the undersides of leaves, on the fruit and on the roots.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page D. brevipes should be distinguished from D. neobrevipes which occurs in North America, the Caribbean and the tropical South Pacific. Adult female D. brevipes are distinguished by the presence of long setae above the anal ring on the dorsum of the abdomen and in the roughly quadrate form of the ventral anal lobe sclerotization. D. neobrevipes, on the other hand, has short setae above the anal ring, and the ventral anal lobe sclerotization is conspicuously long, being two or more times as long as wide.

Beardsley (1959, 1965) discussed the important morphological characters that separated D. brevipes from closely-related species.

Prevention and Control

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Heat Treatment

Heating pineapple crowns in a large water bath at 50°C for 30 minutes permitted 100% plant survival and rendered 100% of the plants free of pineapple wilt-associated virus (Ullman et al., 1991). Following heat treatment of pineapple crowns in Hawaii, pineapple wilt-associated closterovirus could not be detected and growth of the heat-treated plants was more rapid than that observed in non-heat-treated plants. The heat-treated plants were not readily colonized by mealybugs, nor did they show mealybug wilt even after more than 2 years from being planted in a commercial plant crop with severe mealybug pineapple wilt (Ullman et al., 1993).

Regulatory Control

Importation of pineapple plants for planting from countries where mealybug wilt of pineapple occurs should be prohibited.

Biological Control

The following species of parasites and predators have been introduced into Hawaii for the biological control of D. brevipes, and have become established: the encyrtid parasitoids Anagyrus ananatis, Euryrhopalus [Blepyrus] propinquus and Hambeltonia pseudococcinna; a cecidomyid predator Lobodiplosis [Diadiplosis] pseudococci, and the predatory coccinellids Nephus bilucenarius and Scymnus uncinatus (Rohrbach et al., 1988). Of these, the encyrtids and cecidomyid are the most effective. These natural enemies, however, do not control the mealybug colonies in the presence of ants and ant control is therefore important.

Chemical Control

Pineapple crowns and slips used for new plantings need to be dipped or fumigated before planting to prevent spreading infestations of the mealybug. In Brazil, fenitrothion and fenpropathrin (Santa Cecilia and Sousa, 1993) and diazinon (Cecilia and Rossi, 1991) have been found to be effective against D. brevipes on pineapple.


Top of page

Bartlett BR, 1978. Pseudococcidae. In: Clausen CP, ed. Introduced Parasites and Predators of Arthropod Pests and Weeds: a World Review. Agriculture Handbook No. 480, 137-170.

Beardsley JW, 1959. On the taxonomy of Pineapple mealybugs in Hawaii, with a description of a previously unnamed species (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 17:29-37.

Beardsley JW, 1965. Notes on the Pineapple Mealybug Complex, with descriptions of two new species (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 19:55-68.

Ben-Dov Y, 1994. A systematic catalogue of the mealybugs of the world (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae and Putoidae) with data on geographical distribution, host plants, biology and economic importance. Andover, UK; Intercept Limited, 686 pp.

Bohlen E, 1973. Crop pests in Tanzania and their control. Berlin, Germany: Verlag Paul Parey.

Botrel N, Siqueira DLde, 1993. Control of pineapple mealybug. Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira, 28(2):223-227

Cecflia LVCS, Rossi MM, 1991. Comparative efficiency of some insecticides and application methods for the control of pineapple mealybugs. Pesquisa Agropecua^acute~ria Brasileira, 26(6):843-848; 14 ref.

CIE, 1972. Distribution Maps of Pests, Series A No. 50 (revised). Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

CIE, 1972. Distribution Maps of Plant Pests, No. 50. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Culik MP, Martins Ddos S, Ventura JA, 2011. New distribution and host records of chalcidoid parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) of scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) in Espírito Santo, Brazil. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 21(7/8):877-881.

Culik MP, Ventura JA, 2013. A new species of cecidomyiid (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) predator of scale insect (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) pests of pineapple. Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica, 48(1):129-134.

Culik MP, Ventura JA, Martins Ddos S, 2009. Scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccidae) of pineapple in the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil. Acta Horticulturae [Proceedings of the Sixth International Pineapple Symposium, Joao Pessoa, Brazil, 18-23 November 2007.], No.822:215-218.

Das BB, 1988. Insects pests of potato and their control in Tripura. Indian Journal of Entomology, 50(3):298-301

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