Invasive Species Compendium

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Pseudococcus elisae
(banana mealybug)

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Datasheet

Pseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 11 December 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Pseudococcus elisae
  • Preferred Common Name
  • banana mealybug
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Pseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Nymph. Sacramento, California, USA. December 2006.
TitleNymph
CaptionPseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Nymph. Sacramento, California, USA. December 2006.
Copyright©United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0
Pseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Nymph. Sacramento, California, USA. December 2006.
NymphPseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Nymph. Sacramento, California, USA. December 2006.©United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0
Pseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Nymph. Sacramento, California, USA. December 2006.
TitleNymph
CaptionPseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Nymph. Sacramento, California, USA. December 2006.
Copyright©United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0
Pseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Nymph. Sacramento, California, USA. December 2006.
NymphPseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Nymph. Sacramento, California, USA. December 2006.©United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0
Pseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Female adult mounted on microscope slide, ventral view. California, USA. December 2006.
TitleFemale adult
CaptionPseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Female adult mounted on microscope slide, ventral view. California, USA. December 2006.
Copyright©Alessandra Rung, California Department of Food & Agriculture, Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0
Pseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Female adult mounted on microscope slide, ventral view. California, USA. December 2006.
Female adultPseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug); Female adult mounted on microscope slide, ventral view. California, USA. December 2006.©Alessandra Rung, California Department of Food & Agriculture, Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Pseudococcus elisae Borchsenius, 1947

Preferred Common Name

  • banana mealybug

International Common Names

  • English: mealybug, banana

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: Pseudococcus
  •                                         Species: Pseudococcus elisae

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Gimpel and Miller (1996) discovered that the species previously identified as P. elisae actually included two cryptic species, and described Pseudococcus jackbeardsleyi. Unfortunately, P. elisae is much more restricted in its distribution and host preferences than its sibling P. jackbeardsleyi. Therefore, the literature is full of misidentifications. References to P. elisae by Beardsley (1986), Williams (1988), and Williams and Granara de Willink (1992) apparently refer to a mixture of both species; reference to P. elisae by Williams and Watson (1988), Lit et al. (1990), Lit and Calilung (1994), Nakahara (1981), and Sugimoto (1994) apparently refer to P. jackbeardsleyi only. It is unclear which species is referred to in Charlin (1972) recording 'P. elisae' from Easter Island or the study of Stover (1975) in Honduras, but it is suspected that the former is P. jackbeardsleyi and the latter is P. elisae.

Description

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Adult female in life

According to Gimpel and Miller (1996), this species has 16 or 17 pairs of thin waxy filaments around the body margin that are short on the head and long on the posterior end of the abdomen. Body length is about 2.5 mm and is approximately twice as long as the longest waxy filament. The female is covered with a thin layer of powdery white wax, but this does not completely hide the pale orange body colour. The crushed body is reddish brown. A white waxy ovisac is produced that is longer than or equal to the length of the body of the adult and encloses the eggs.

Slide-mounted adult female

Gimpel and Miller (1996) published a technical description. A diagnosis is as follows: With many discoidal pores in a conspicuous sclerotized rim surrounding the eye. Marginal oral-collar tubular ducts with small rims. With 1-13 oral-rim tubular ducts on dorsum of abdomen, usually about 8. With 1-3 ventral oral-rim tubular ducts on each side of body between cerarius 13 and abdominal segment II. Without a lateral oral-rim tubular duct on either side of dorsum of abdominal segment VII. Hind tibia usually shorter than or equal to length of hind femur. With more than 20 multilocular pores on venter of abdominal segment IV and 2-19 such pores on segment III. Translucent pores present on hind femur and tibia.

Slide-mounted third-instar females

A technical description is given by Gimpel and Miller (1996). A diagnosis of the third-instar female is as follows: With 0-4 dorsal oral-rim tubular ducts on thorax and with 0-3 on abdomen. Without mediolateral oral-rim tubular ducts on dorsum of abdomen. Eye with a slightly sclerotized rim surrounding it and 2-6 discoidal pores on rim. Head with 2-3 oral-collar tubular ducts on each side of body and with 2-4 such ducts between cerarii 10 and 11. Some marginal oral-collar tubular ducts with slight rim.

Distribution

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Although many of the records of P. elisae are quarantine records primarily from USA ports-of-entry, the repetitive nature of these interceptions suggest that the species is well established in most of the countries listed. The species has a fairly limited distribution in Central America and northern South America. It is reasonable to expect it to continue to expand its distribution.

The distribution map includes records based on specimens of P. elisae from the collection in the Natural History Museum (London, UK): dates of collection are noted in the List of countries (NHM, 1982).

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: 30 Jun 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Asia

PhilippinesPresent

Europe

NetherlandsAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey15 survey observations in 2012.

North America

ArubaPresent
BahamasPresent
BarbadosPresent
BelizePresent
Costa RicaPresent
CubaPresent
Dominican RepublicPresent
El SalvadorPresent
GuadeloupePresent
GuatemalaPresent
HaitiPresent
HondurasPresent
JamaicaPresent
MartiniquePresent
MexicoPresent
NicaraguaPresent
PanamaPresent
Puerto RicoPresent
Saint MartinPresent
Sint MaartenPresent
Trinidad and TobagoPresent
United StatesPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HawaiiPresent

Oceania

KiribatiPresent
TuvaluPresent

South America

BoliviaPresent
BrazilPresent
-Espirito SantoPresent
ChilePresent
-Easter IslandPresent
ColombiaPresent
EcuadorPresent
GuyanaPresent
VenezuelaPresent

Risk of Introduction

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Contamination of fruit for export may cause rejection at ports-of-entry in countries where this mealybug does not occur.

Habitat

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Occurring primarily on the leaves and fruit of the host.

Hosts/Species Affected

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Because of confusion about the identity of this species, the only reliable reference about P. elisae hosts is Gimpel and Miller (1996). Most (but not all) published records of P. elisae pertain to P. jackbeardsleyi. Unfortunately, the only way to validate the records is to re-examine voucher specimens, if they exist.

This species is most commonly found on banana. It has been reported on only six host genera in five families, but it is anticipated that a much wider range of hosts will be found when it is studied in the banana-growing areas of Central and South America.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Acacia (wattles)FabaceaeUnknown
  • Beardsley (1986)
Acalypha (Copperleaf)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Acalypha ostryifoliaUnknown
  • Beardsley (1986)
Acosmium subelegansUnknown
Aeschynomene americana (shyleaf)FabaceaeUnknown
AgaveAgavaceaeUnknown
AglaonemaAraceaeOther
Aglaonema commutatumAraceaeUnknown
Aglaonema crispumUnknown
Albizia niopoides (silk tree)FabaceaeUnknown
AlpiniaZingiberaceaeUnknown
AnisomelesUnknown
AnnonaAnnonaceaeUnknown
Annona squamosa (sugar apple)AnnonaceaeOther
Argyreia nervosa (elephant creeper)ConvolvulaceaeUnknown
  • Matile-Ferrero and Étienne (2006)
Bixa orellana (annatto)BixaceaeUnknown
Brassica oleracea var. capitata (cabbage)BrassicaceaeUnknown
Cassia (sennas)FabaceaeUnknown
Casuarina (beefwood)CasuarinaceaeUnknown
Centrosema macrocarpumUnknown
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine)VitaceaeUnknown
  • Beardsley (1986)
Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)RutaceaeOther
Codiaeum (ornamental croton)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Codiaeum variegatum (garden croton)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Coffea (coffee)RubiaceaeUnknown
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)RubiaceaeOther
Coffea canephora (robusta coffee)RubiaceaeUnknown
Cordia curassavicaBoraginaceaeUnknown
CrotonEuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Dieffenbachia (dumbcanes)AraceaeUnknown
Diospyros hispidaUnknown
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeUnknown
  • Matile-Ferrero and Étienne (2006)
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeUnknown
Haematoxylum campechianum (logwood)FabaceaeUnknown
IxoraRubiaceaeUnknown
Lantana camara (lantana)VerbenaceaeUnknown
MangiferaAnacardiaceaeUnknown
  • Beardsley (1986)
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeUnknown
Manihot aesculifoliaUnknown
Manihot chlorostictaUnknown
Manihot esculenta (cassava)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Manihot filamentosaUnknown
Manihot pringleiUnknown
Manihot rhomboideaUnknown
Musa (banana)MusaceaeMain
Musa paradisiacaUnknown
Musa textilis (manila hemp)MusaceaeUnknown
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)MusaceaeMain
Parthenium hysterophorus (parthenium weed)AsteraceaeUnknown
Phaseolus (beans)FabaceaeUnknown
Physalis pubescensSolanaceaeUnknown
  • Beardsley (1986)
Pilea microphyllaUrticaceaeUnknown
Piper arboreum subsp. tuberculatumUnknown
  • Beardsley (1986)
Pluchea carolinensis (sourbush)AsteraceaeUnknown
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeOther
    Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeUnknown
    Rivina humilis (bloodberry)PhytolaccaceaeUnknown
    Sechium edule (chayote)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
    Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeUnknown
    Solanum tuberosum (potato)SolanaceaeUnknown
    Trixis inulaUnknown
    Urera elataUnknown
    • Beardsley (1986)
    Zingiber officinale (ginger)ZingiberaceaeUnknown
    • Beardsley (1986)

    Growth Stages

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    Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Vegetative growing stage

    Symptoms

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    The undersides of leaves can become covered with the white ovisacs produced by the adult females in heavy infestations (Gimpel and Miller, 1996).

    List of Symptoms/Signs

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    SignLife StagesType
    Fruit / external feeding
    Leaves / external feeding

    Biology and Ecology

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    There is no published information on the biology of P. elisae. In Ecuador, it is reported to have multiple generations each year and to occur primarily on the leaves and fruit of the host (GV Manley, Standard Fruit Co., San Jose, Costa Rica, personal communication, 1985).

    Mealybugs in general have four female and five male instars (including the adults). The first instar is usually more mobile than the rest. The adult female lays her eggs in a waxy sac called an ovisac attached to the host-plant. The eggs usually hatch in a few hours to a few days and the first instars escape from the ovisac and crawl on the host searching for a suitable feeding site. First-instar larvae are sometimes transported by wind. Male first instars are similar to female first instars, but male second instars form a waxy sac and pass through two more non-feeding instars (the prepupa and pupa) before becoming winged adults. Females do not form an ovisac until they are adults. Adult males cannot feed and usually survive for no more than a day. It is assumed that most mealybug males locate females by a pheromone. Males can often be seen in flight early in the morning or late in the day when winds are generally calm. Mealybugs have from one to eight or nine generations a year depending on the weather conditions and species of mealybug.

    Notes on Natural Enemies

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    Although it is likely that this species has an array of natural enemies, none have been reported in the literature. Mealybugs usually have associated parasites in the Chalcidoidea, particularly the Encyrtidae, and predators in the Coccinellidae. Other natural enemies include fungi, lacewings, occasional flies, and mites.

    Impact

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    The banana mealybug has been reported to cause damage to bananas in Central America (Beardsley, 1986).

    Detection and Inspection

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    Best detected by visual inspection of host, particularly on the undersides of leaves and in the developing fruit bunches. The large white ovisacs are the most easily seen structure on the host.

    Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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    Adult females of P. elisae are most similar to Pseudococcus jackbeardsleyi but differ by having: small rim associated with many marginal oral-collar tubular ducts, especially on thorax; 1-13 dorsal oral-rim tubular ducts on abdomen; up to two ventral oral-rim tubular ducts on each side of body between cerarius 13 and segment II; without lateral oral-rim tubular duct on abdominal segment VII; tibia usually shorter or equal in length to femur; with more than 20 multilocular pores on venter of segment IV. Whereas, P. jackbeardsleyi has: no rim associated with marginal oral-collar tubular ducts; 14-27 dorsal oral-rim tubular ducts on abdomen; more than two ventral oral-rim tubular ducts on each side of body between cerarius 13 and segment II; usually at least one lateral oral-rim tubular duct on abdominal segment VII; tibia usually longer than length of femur; usually with less than 15 multilocular pores on venter of segment IV. Adult females of Pseudococcus elisae are also similar to Pseudococcus landoi, but differ by having translucent pores on the hind femur which are absent on the latter species.

    Third-instar females of P. elisae are most similar to third instars of P. landoi but differ by having: longest anal-lobe seta greater than 100 mm long; and hind tibia 123-158 mm long. Whereas, P. landoi has: longest anal-lobe seta less than 90 mm long; and hind tibia 151-188 mm long. Third-instar females of P. elisae also are similar to P. jackbeardsleyi but differ by having: four or fewer oral-rim tubular ducts on thorax, fewer than three on abdomen; without mediolateral oral-rim tubular ducts on abdomen; cerarius 10 well developed; without oral-rim tubular ducts on submargin of venter from segment II to cerarius 13. Whereas, P. jackbeardsleyi has: four or more oral-rim tubular ducts on thorax, more than five on abdomen; with at least one mediolateral oral-rim tubular duct on abdomen; cerarius 10 usually absent or represented by one or two conical setae and five or fewer trilocular pores; with one or more oral-rim tubular ducts on submargin of venter from segment II to cerarius 13.

    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.

    There is no published information concerning control strategies for this species.

    References

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    Beardsley JA, 1986. Taxonomic notes on Pseudococcus elisae Borchsenius, a mealybug new to the Hawaiian fauna (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 26:31-34.

    Beardsley, J. W., Jr., 1986. Taxonomic notes on Pseudococcus elisae Borkhsenius, a mealybug new to the Hawaiian fauna (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 26, 31-34.

    Charlin C R, 1972. Geographical distribution, food-plants and new identifications of Coccids from Chile. Revista Peruana de Entomologia, 15:215-218

    Culik MP; Martins Ddos S; Gullan PJ, 2006. First records of two mealybug species in Brazil and new potential pests of papaya and coffee. Journal of Insect Science (Tucson), 6:6.23. http://www.insectscience.org/6.23/

    Gimpel WFJr; Miller DR, 1996. Systematic analysis of the mealybugs in the Pseudococcus maritimus complex (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Contributions on Entomology, International, 2(1):163 pp.; 3 pp. of ref.

    Lit IL Jr; Calilung VJ, 1994. Philippine mealybugs of the genus Pseudococcus (Pseudococcidae, Coccoidea, Hemiptera). Philippine Entomologist, 9(3):254-267

    Lit IL Jr; Calilung VJ; Villacarlos LT, 1990. Notes on mealybugs and scale insects (Coccoidea, Hemiptera) of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). Philippine Entomologist, 8(1):707-708

    Matile-Ferrero, D., Étienne, J., 2006. Scale insects from the French Antilles and some other Caribbean islands [Hemiptera, Coccoidea]. (Cochenilles des antilles françaises et de quelques autres îles des caraïbes [Hemiptera, Coccoidea]). Revue Française d'Entomologie, 28(4), 161-190.

    Nakahara S, 1978. List of the Hawaiian Coccoidea (Homoptera: Sternorhyncha). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 23(3):387-424

    Niebla Rumbaut S; Jiménez Carbonell R; Castellanos González L; Suárez Perera E, 2010. Pseudococcids in the province of Cienfuegos and their hosts. (Pseudocóccidos en la provincia de cienfuegos y sus hospedantes.) Fitosanidad, 14(1):3-9. http://www.inisav.cu/fitosanidad.htm

    Schotman CYL, 1989. Plant pests of quarantine importance to the Caribbean. RLAC-PROVEG, No. 21:80 pp.

    Stover RH, 1975. Sooty moulds of bananas. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 65(2):328-330

    Sugimoto S, 1994. Scale insects intercepted on banana fruits from Mindanao Is., the Philippines (Coccoidea: Homoptera). Research Bulletin of the Plant Protection Service, Japan, No. 30:115-121; 19 ref.

    Tokihiro G, 2006. List of mealybugs (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) intercepted at Japanese plant quarantine mainly from areas without a record of distribution. Research Bulletin of the Plant Protection Service, Japan, No.42:59-61. http://www.pps.go.jp/

    Williams DJ, 1988. The distribution of the neotropical mealybug Pseudococcus elisp Borchsenius in the Pacific region and Southern Asia (Hem.-Hom., Pseudococcidae). Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 124(1488-1491):123-124

    Williams DJ; Granara de Willink MC, 1992. Mealybugs of Central and South America. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

    Williams DJ; Watson GW, 1988. Scale insects of the tropical South Pacific region. Part 2. Mealybugs (Pseudococcidae). Wallingford, Oxon, UK; CAB International, 260 pp.

    Distribution References

    Beardsley J W Jr, 1986. Taxonomic notes on Pseudococcus elisae Borkhsenius, a mealybug new to the Hawaiian fauna (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society. 31-34.

    CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

    Charlin C R, 1973. Coccoidea of Easter Island (Homoptera). (Coccoidea de la Isla de Pascua (Homoptera).). Revista Chilena de Entomologia. 111-114.

    Culik M P, Martins D dos S, Gullan P J, 2006. First records of two mealybug species in Brazil and new potential pests of papaya and coffee. Journal of Insect Science (Tucson). 6.23. http://www.insectscience.org/6.23/ DOI:10.1673/2006_06_23.1

    EPPO, 2021. EPPO Global database. In: EPPO Global database, Paris, France: EPPO. https://gd.eppo.int/

    Gimpel W F Jr, Miller D R, 1996. Systematic analysis of the mealybugs in the Pseudococcus maritimus complex (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). In: Contributions on Entomology, International, 2 (1) Gainesville, USA: Associated Publishers. 163 pp.

    Lit I L Jr, Calilung V J, 1994. Philippine mealybugs of the genus Pseudococcus (Pseudococcidae, Coccoidea, Hemiptera). Philippine Entomologist. 9 (3), 254-267.

    Matile-Ferrero D, Étienne J, 2006. Scale insects from the French Antilles and some other Caribbean islands [Hemiptera, Coccoidea]. (Cochenilles des antilles françaises et de quelques autres îles des caraïbes [Hemiptera, Coccoidea].). Revue Française d'Entomologie. 28 (4), 161-190.

    NHM, 1982. Specimen record from the collection in the Natural History Museum (London, UK)., London, UK: Natural History Museum (London).

    Niebla Rumbaut S, Jiménez Carbonell R, Castellanos González L, Suárez Perera E, 2010. Pseudococcids in the province of Cienfuegos and their hosts. (Pseudocóccidos en la provincia de cienfuegos y sus hospedantes.). Fitosanidad. 14 (1), 3-9. http://www.inisav.cu/fitosanidad.htm

    NPPO of the Netherlands, 2013. Pest status of harmful organisms in the Netherlands., Wageningen, Netherlands:

    Rodríguez E B, Vicente I P, Rodríguez Castro Á M, 2003. Survey of the Pseudococcidos of Cuba. Results for the Period 2001-2002. (Encuesta de los Pseudococcidos de Cuba. Resultados del Periodo 2001-2002). Fitosanidad. 7 (2), 31-36. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/2091/209118162005.pdf

    Tokihiro G, 2006. List of mealybugs (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) intercepted at Japanese plant quarantine mainly from areas without a record of distribution. Research Bulletin of the Plant Protection Service, Japan. 59-61. http://www.pps.go.jp/

    Williams D J, Granara de Willink M C, 1992. Mealybugs of Central and South America. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. 635 pp.

    Williams D J, Watson G W, 1988. Scale insects of the tropical South Pacific region. Part 2. Mealybugs (Pseudococcidae). Wallingford, Oxon, UK: CAB International. 260 pp.

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