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S. Devasahayam and T.K. Jacob

Table 62.1 List of mealybug species recorded on different spice crops

Mealybug species

Black pepper (Piper nigrum)

Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell)

Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell)

Formicoccus polysperes sp.n.

Planococcus sp.

Planococcus citri (Risso)

Planococcus lilacinus (Cockerell)

Planococcus lilacinus (Cockerell)

Planococcus minor (Maskell)

Pseudococcus sp.

Pseudococcus longispinus


Pseudococcus orchidicola (Takahashi)

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Planococcus sp.

Planococcus citri (Risso)

Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley)

Dysmicoccus debregeasiae (Green)

Dysmicoccus subterreus sp.n.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Pseudococcus sp.

Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell)

Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell)

Formicoccus polysperes sp.n.

Niapecoccus nipae (Maskell)

Pseudococcus cryptus (Hempel)

Rhizoecus amorphophalli (Betrem)

Phenacoccus parvus (Morrison)

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Planococcus sp.

Planococcus citri (Risso)

Paracoccus marginatus (Williams and

Granara de Willink)

Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green)

Rastrococcus iceryoides (Green)













Sri Lanka




Indoneasia, Maldives, Malaysia



Devasahayam et al. (2009)

Rao (1926)

Kueh et al. (1993)

Williams (2004)

Ramanujam et al. (2013)

Koya et al. (1996)

Sarma (2010)

Sarma (2010)

Nayar et al. (1976)

Kueh et al. (1993)

Dharmadasa (2000)

Sarma (2010)

Devasahayam et al. (2009)

Koya et al. (1996)

Williams (2004)

Koya et al. (1996)

Koya et al. (1996)


Koya et al. (1996)




India and Sri Lanka


Narasimham (1987)

David and Ananthakrishnan (2004)

Arif et al. (2009)

Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)







India, Java, and Hawaii

Ethiopian, Neotropical, and

Pacific region

Ernhorn and Whitney (1926)

Anonymous (2012)

Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)


Sri Lanka


Devasahayam (2006)

Williams (2004)

Chellappan et al. (2013)



Bhatt (2010)

Williams (2004)





Table 62.1 (continued)

Mealybug species

Betel vine (Piper betle)

Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell)

Formicoccus polysperes sp.n.

Geococcus citrinus (Kuawna)

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Paracoccus ferrisi (Ezzat and


Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)

Rastrococcus lamingtoniensis







Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)


Ben-Dov (1994)


Ben-Dov (1994)

followed by Idukki district (Kerala), wherein 2.7

and 2.3 % of leaves of affected vines (5.4 %)

were infested (Koya et al. 1996). The aerial infestation of mealybugs such as F. virgata and P. citri

is mainly seen on tender shoots, leaves and

spikes, especially in the nursery. Planococcus

minor, P. longispinus, and P. orchidicola are generally encountered within old leaf galls induced

by leaf gall thrips (Liothrips karnyi Bagn.), probably due to the conducive microclimatic conditions within them (Devasahayam 2000). In

nursery plants, infestations by F. virgata and

P. citri result in wilting of the affected parts.

were covered with mulch. The pest infestation

results in defoliation, yellowing and wilting of

leaves and lateral branches, and also mortality of

vines in severe cases of infestation (Devasahayam

et al. 2009). Various intercrops (coconut,

arecanut, coffee, banana, colocasia, cardamom,

and turmeric) grown in black pepper gardens

were found infested with root mealybugs. Root

mealybug infestations were observed on black

pepper vines trailed on all standards (support

trees like silver oak, Erythrina spp., and jackfruit) (Devasahayam et al. 2009). Continuous

infestation without proper management leads to

gradual decline and death of the vine. The infestation is generally greater during the post-monsoon season and lesser during summer months.

62.1.2 Associated Organisms

Ferissia virgata on black pepper

Colonies of root mealybugs are distributed on

the main, secondary, and tertiary roots, basal

region of stems on rooted cuttings in the nursery,

and also on the vines of all age groups in the field.

The mealybug colonies are observed even up to a

depth of 2 ft below the soil in severely affected

vines. The infestation on the basal regions of the

stem is seen under the soil and also when they Pathogens

The fungus Phytophthora capsici (Leonian) and

nematodes such as Meloidogyne incognita

(Kofoid and White) (Chitwood), and Radopholus

similis (Cobb) were commonly associated with

root mealybug infested vines. At Wayanad and

Kozhikode districts, all the root mealybug

infested vines examined (n = 104) were also

infested with either Phytophthora and nematodes

or both. The infested vines exhibited symptoms

such as rotting of roots, absence of feeder roots,

yellowing and wilting of leaves, defoliation, and

mortality of vines that are characteristically associated with P. capsici and nematode infections.

At a few locations in Wayanad district, the root

S. Devasahayam and T.K. Jacob


mealybug colonies were covered with a fungus

(unidentified) which formed a soil-encrusted

globular covering lined with mycelium. The

mealybug associated with the fungus was identi-

Root mealybug infestation

on the basal region of the stem

fied as an undetermined species of Planococcus

sp. The other species of root mealybugs were not

covered with the fungus (Devasahayam et al.


Root mealybug infestation on

rooted cuttings in the nursery

The fungus Diacanthodes philippinensis

(Pat.) (Singer) is reported to be associated with P.

lilacinus on coffee in India, and whenever both

occurred together, the plants wilted and died.

Infestation by the mealybug alone did not cause

the death of coffee plants (Sekhar 1964; Chacko

and Sreedharan 1981). In Africa, the coffee root

mealybug, which was earlier identified as P. citri

and associated with the fungus D. novoguineesis

(Hennings) Fidalgo, has been later described as a

new species, P. fungicola (Watson and Cox

1990). The fungus is considered as a symbiont

providing protected cavities on the root surface in

which the mealybugs live in return for the sugars

in the honeydew excreted by them and in the sap

that escapes from the insects feeding punctures in

the roots (Fidalgo 1962).

Ferrisia virgata and P. citri were identified to

transmit Piper Yellow Mottle Virus (PYMoV),

the badnavirus, causing stunt disease which is

increasingly becoming serious, especially at

higher altitudes in Wayanad and Kodagu dis-

Phytophthora and nematode

association with root mealybug

infestations in the field

tricts in Kerala and Karnataka (Bhat et al. 2003a,

b, 2005)

62.1.3 Ants

Three species of ants, namely, Anaplolepis sp.,

Crematogaster sp., and Technomyrmex sp., and

two unidentified species were associated with

root mealybug colonies. In many cases, it was

easier to identify infested vines based on the

activity of the ants (Devasahayam et al. 2009).

62.1.4 Natural Enemies

On black pepper, Leptacis sp. (Platygasteridae)

and Blepyrus insularis (Cam.) (Encyrtidae) were

found parasitizing Pseudococcus sp. and F. virgata, respectively, infesting on the aerial parts of

the vine (Devasahayam and Koya 1998). Larvae

of Spalgis sp. (Spaligidae) were observed to



predate on root mealybug colonies, especially

those at the base of the stems (Devasahayam

et al. 2009).

62.1.5 Management

Microbial Pathogens The fungal pathogen

Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) (Sorokin) was

found to cause 79.6 % reduction in mealybug

population, 30 days after treatment under laboratory conditions (Devasahayam and Koya 2000).

Natural Products Alcoholic extracts (3 %) of

Azadirachta indica and Vitex negundo; tobacco

extract (3 %); custard apple seed extract (2 %);

and agro spray oil (3 %) are known to cause up to

75 % reduction in root mealybug population, 30

days after treatment. Among the neem products,

Nimbicidine (0.5 %) was the most effective,

resulting in 60 % reduction in the population of

root mealybugs, 30 days after treatment

(Devasahayam 2006).

Insecticides In India, imidacloprid (0.0125 %),

acetamaprid (0.0125 %), and carbosulfan

(0.075 %) were more promising, resulting in over

90 % reduction in the population of root mealybugs, 30 days after treatment under laboratory

conditions (Devasahayam 2006). Dimethoate,

parathion-methyl, and quinalphos were the most

effective against the pepper mealybug F. virgata

in Karnataka, India (Prasad Kumar et al. 1998).

In Sri Lanka, cleaning the base of the vine, adopting control measures against ants, drenching the

base of the plant with fipronil 50 G-SC (5 mL in

10 L of water) and applying carbofuran 3G (10–

15 g per vine) (Dharmadasa 2000), or drenching

the base of the vine with chlorpyriphos (28 mL in

12 L water) (Sarma 2010) have been recommended for the management of root mealybug P.

citri. In Malaysia, spraying deltamethrin (0.1 %)

at biweekly intervals, five to six times, has been

suggested for the control of mealybugs such as P.

citri and F. virgata affecting the aerial parts of the

vine. Alternatively, spraying of albolineum

(white oil) – 72 % (16.5 mL/L), not more than


three times a season, has been recommended.

Use of Erythirna variegata (L.) and E. orientalis

(Murr.) as live supports is not advocated (Sarma

2010). In Indonesia, spraying albolineum (200–

250 mL in 18 L water) or dimethoate (35–40 mL

in 18 L water) or malathion (45 mL in 18 L water)

has been suggested for controlling P. citri and F.

virgata (Kueh et al. 1993).

Integrated Management

In India, an integrated pest management strategy

for the management of root mealybugs was

developed based on field trials conducted with

promising insecticides and plant products. The

strategy involves planting root mealybug-free

rooted cuttings in the field, removal of weeds in

the interspaces of black pepper vines during summer, drenching tobacco extract (3 %) or custard

apple seed extract (2 %) on mildly affected vines,

or drenching imidacloprid (0.0125 %) or acetamaprid (0.0125 %) or carbosulfan (0.075 %) or

chlorpyriphos (0.075 %) on the affected vines,

and adoption of control measures against





(Devasahayam 2006). Adequate care should be

taken to ensure that the insecticide solution percolates down to the roots while drenching the



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J.B. Narendra Kumar, M.A. Shekhar,

and Vinod Kumar

Mealybugs are injurious to mulberry (Morus

spp.) in several countries (Table 63.1). Mulberry

is the sole food plant of the silkworm, Bombyx

mori L., the producer of fabulous silk which

derives all the nutrients for its growth from the

mulberry leaf. Mealybugs pose serious threat to

mulberry cultivation mainly in India. Mulberry

fruits are edible, and can be great for health in

some countries. Production of appreciable quantity of quality mulberry leaf is hampered by the

mealybugs in silk-producing states in India.

Among the mealybug species, Maconellicoccus

hirsutus and Paracoccus marginatus in plains

and Paraputo sp. in the hilly regions caused drastic reduction in mulberry leaf yield thereby

affecting the silk industry.


Pink Hibiscus mealybug,

Maconellicoccus hirsutus

In India, Misra (1919) reported for the first time,

the attack on mulberry by M. hirsutus. Though

the pest is known to attack mulberry almost since

a century, it has assumed the key pest status,

especially in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra

Pradesh only about one and a half decade back

(Sriharan et al. 1979; Baskaran et al. 1994).

J.B.N. Kumar (*) • M.A. Shekhar • V. Kumar

Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute,

Mysore 570 008, India

e-mail: jbnarendra@gmail.com

Maconellicoccus hirsutus was first detected on

mainland US in August, 1999 in Imperial Valley,

a low desert region in southern California on

mulberry (Roltsch et al. 2006).

Seasonal Development In south India, though

the pest is observed to infest mulberry throughout

the year, the incidence was highest during summer (34.93 %) and least during winter (9.45 %)

with an average incidence of 22.15 % (Hemalatha

and Shree 2008; Sathya Prasad and Manjunath

1992). According to Narendra Kumar et al.

(2006), in Bangalore rural district, the mealybug

incidence reached its peak during April (18.79

%) and gradually started declining afterwards,

and lowest incidence of 2.56 % was recorded

during December. Pink mealybug passes through

10–15 generations in a year and was found active

even during winter months without any hibernation (Rajadurai 2005b). Further, it completes its

life cycle in 24–29 days on mulberry (Misra

1919). However, Dhahira Beevi (1989) reported

that total life span of the mealybug was 30.6 days

for female while it was 22.7 days for males on


Damage Mealybugs cause damage to mulberry

crop by sucking the sap from young leaves and

buds. As mealybugs suck and feed, they inject

into the plant a toxic saliva that results in malformed leaf and shoot growth, stunting and occasional death (Lavanya Latha et al. 2004; Rajadurai

© Springer India 2016

M. Mani, C. Shivaraju (eds.), Mealybugs and their Management in Agricultural

and Horticultural crops, DOI 10.1007/978-81-322-2677-2_63



J.B.N. Kumar et al.

Table 63.1 List of mealybug species recorded on mulberry in different regions in the world


Atracoccus fuscus (Borchsenius)

Crisicoccus maricola Tang

Ferrisia virgata (Ckll.)

Formicoccus lateens sp.n

Maconellicoccus hirsutus Green







Paraputo sp.


Peliococcus mesaiaticus Borchsenius

& Kozarzhevskaya

Phenacoccus divericatus sp.n.

Planococcus citri (Risso)

Planococcus minor Maskell

Pseudococcus comstocki (Kuw.)



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Attia (2006)

Williams (2004)

Misra (1919), Raichoudhury (1958),

Manjunath et al. (1996)

Sánchez (2000)

de Almeida and Fonseca (2000)

Hall (1926)

Garland (1998)

Roltsch et al. (2006)

Mundo (1984)

Zaman et al. (1996); Sahito et al.


Ali and Ahmed (1990)

Fallahzadeh et al. (2002)

El-Haidari et al. (1978)

Williams (2004)

Mani Chellappan et al. (2013);

Mahalingam et al. (2010); Shekhar

et al. (2011); Prasad et al. (2012)

Misra et al. (1996); Biswas et al.


Ben-Dov (1994)

Pakistan & India



Central Asia


Crimea (USSR)



Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Bartlett and Clancy (1972)

Kryachko (1978)

Oganesyan and Babayan (1979)

Romanchenko and Bel’skaya (1981)

Kanchaveli and Partsvaniya (2009)

Sakthivel et al. (2011)

Nearctic & neotropical



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)








Nipaecoccus vastator (Maskell)

Niapecoccus viridis (Newstead)

Paracoccus marginatus Williams and

Granara de Willink

Pseudococcus longispinus (Targioni


Pseudococcus maritimus (Ehrhorn)

Spilococcus mari (Siraiwa)

Trionymus mori Lobdell






2005a). The damage by the pink mealybug gives

disease like appearance called as ‘tukra’. A heavy

black sooty mould develops on the infested leaves

and stem as a result of honey dew excretions by

the mealybug. Earlier tukra in mulberry was mistaken for a viral disease and mealybugs were

believed to be the vectors of the same

(Rangaswamy et al. 1976). Later it was discovered that so-called tukra disease is only a defor-

mity symptom caused due to pink mealybug


The extent of damage by the pink mealybug in

mulberry is reported to be 34.24 % (Manjunath

et al. 1996) leading to an estimated leaf yield loss

of about 4,500 kg/ha/year with a cocoon crop loss

of about 10–15 % (Manjunath et al. 2000;

Rajadurai and Thyagarajan 2003). Due to this, the

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