Common name: Mealybugs
Fruit trees, vegetables, ornamentals, tropical foliage plants
Leaves are distorted (rolled or folded), stunted, and yellow. Attacked fruits and pod drop prematurely. Like the other sap-feeding insects, mealybugs excrete (eliminate) large quantities of honeydews
, which promote sooty mold
that caused blackened-malformed leaves, stems, and fruits (University of Illinois, 2003).
- Cassava mealybug (Phenacoccus manihoti )
Eggs are oblong, golden-yellow, and enclosed in woolly ovisacs located at the posterior end of the adult females. The eggs may hatch as soon as they are laid, giving the impression that young are born rather than hatched. The crawlers are flattened, oval, light-yellow, six-legged insects, and with smooth bodies. Soon after feeding, they emit a white-waxy covering over their bodies giving them a mealy appearance. The female body is oval, rose-pink, and covered with white waxy filaments. The tiny-winged male is needed for reproduction but only lives for a few days (CABI Compendium, 2000)
- Citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri)
are very tiny, yellow in color, and are laid in a cottony mass of up to 500 eggs (Olkowski; Daar; Olkowski, 1991: p. 379). The eggs hatch, in 1-2 weeks, into tiny mobile red-eyed yellow crawlers (nymphs). The crawlers move onto the fruit and leaves to feed on plant's sap. Within a month, males form a mass of cottony filaments and 2 weeks later become winged adults. Female crawlers mature in a month. The adult citrus mealybug is 1.5-4 mm long (Ellis; Bradley, 1996: p. 304).
- Long-tailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus, P. adonidum)
Eggs are straw yellow and darken before hatching. The eggs are laid in batches of 20-240. The eggs may hatch as soon as they are laid, giving the impression that young are born rather than hatched. The crawlers are flattened, oval, light yellow, six-legged insects, and with smooth bodies. Soon after feeding, they emit a white-waxy covering over their bodies giving them a mealy appearance. The adult has long wax-thread tails that are
longer than its body. The female body is oval and covered with white waxy filaments. A female adult lives for about 2-3 months. The tiny-winged male is needed for reproduction but only lives for a few days (Tenbrink; Hara, 1993).
- Mango mealybug (Rastrococcus iceryoides )
Eggs are oval, yellow, and are laid in an ovisac of cottony white fibers. Freshly hatched nymphs are pale-yellow and have two waxy filaments on the posterior end. As they grow, the white mealy wax coverings on their bodies increase and white lateral processes are formed. Wing pads appear in the pre-pupal stage and gradually increase in size during the pupal stage. Adults have the thick white mealy coverings.
- Obscure mealybug (P. obscurus)
The female obscure mealybug releases a sex pheromone, enabling her to mate and reproduce. The pheromone is a mixture of chemicals, which attracts only obscure mealybug males. The timing of pheromone release by the females is synchronized with male emergence. The adult males live only for 2-3 days (Hortnet, 1999). Adults are pink in color (USDA-APHIS, 2001: pp. 15-16). Obscure mealybug is relatively difficult to control. It feeds on the roots and other parts of the host plant (University of California, 2003).
- Pink hibiscus mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus)
The pink hibiscus mealybug is seen as clusters of cotton-liked masses covering buds, stems, fruits, roots, and in extreme cases the whole plant. The female
mealybug produces more than 10 generations/year in colonies of 500 eggs or more. It has a lifecycle of 24-30 days.