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1 Pink Hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus
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
Peliococcus mesaiaticus Borchsenius
Phenacoccus divericatus sp.n.
Planococcus citri (Risso)
Planococcus minor Maskell
Pseudococcus comstocki (Kuw.)
Misra (1919), Raichoudhury (1958),
Manjunath et al. (1996)
de Almeida and Fonseca (2000)
Roltsch et al. (2006)
Zaman et al. (1996); Sahito et al.
Ali and Ahmed (1990)
Fallahzadeh et al. (2002)
El-Haidari et al. (1978)
Mani Chellappan et al. (2013);
Mahalingam et al. (2010); Shekhar
et al. (2011); Prasad et al. (2012)
Misra et al. (1996); Biswas et al.
Pakistan & India
Bartlett and Clancy (1972)
Oganesyan and Babayan (1979)
Romanchenko and Bel’skaya (1981)
Kanchaveli and Partsvaniya (2009)
Sakthivel et al. (2011)
Nearctic & neotropical
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
sericulturists are constrained to forego a rearing of
about 450 layings/ha/year, thus reducing cocoon
production by about 300–350 kg/ha/year (Kumar
et al. 1995) which works out to be Rs. 60,000–
70,000 annually. Severe incidence of the mealybug has been reported in Erode district (63.12 %)
Eggs of M. hirsutus
and least in Dharmapuri (12.06 %) and Thanjavur
districts of Tamil Nadu, India (Baskaran et al.
1994). Mealybug infestation had resulted in 30 to
40 % loss in mulberry leaf yield (Nighat Mehmood
2004). In West Bengal, a leaf yield loss of 7.95 to
11.03 % has been reported (Anonymous 2011).
Mealybug damage to mulberry
63.1.1 Varietal Tolerance/
Pink mealybug incidence is varying in different
mulberry varieties but there is no mulberry variety resistant to M. hirsutus available in India
(Ganesan 1994). In Karnataka, among the ruling
mulberry varieties, S36, S34, S13, K2 and V1,
the mealybug damage was least in V1 (44 %) followed by K2 (66 %) and maximum incidence
was observed in S36 & S34 (87 %) (Sathya
Prasad et al. 2000). Under ﬁeld conditions in
Bangalore rural district, the pest was found to
prefer S-36 variety (24.56 %) followed by V-1
(18.32 %) & RFS-175 (13.44 %) whereas M-5
(4.17 %) and local varieties (2.38 %) were least
preferred (Narendra Kumar et al. 2006).
Preference of mealybugs towards the newly
evolved mulberry varieties may be attributed to
high contents of moisture, sugar and protein
compared to M-5 and local varieties (Savithramma
and Dandin 2000). In West Bengal, among the
mulberry genotypes namely Kajili, S-1, S-778,
S-799, S-1301 and S-1531, the genotypes S-1
and S-799 were less susceptible to mealybug
damage in Berhampore area, and on the contrary
same varieties along with Tr-10 were severely
Female M. hirsutus
affected with tukra in Ambari-Falkata area. In
Sabour area (Bihar state), mealybug damage was
recorded highest on mulberry in variety S-763
(22 %) followed by S-799 (18 %), S-1310, C-776,
Tr-4 and Tr-10 (14 %). Varieties such as C-741,
C-1608, C-1729 and C-1730 were not affected by
tukra. Among mulberry varieties M-5, MR-2,
Kosen, Ichinose, Gosoerami, BC2-59, Tr-4 and
S-13, mealybug damage was more in Ichinose and
least in Kosen and BC2-59 (Babu et al. 1994).
Chemical Control Spraying 0.2 % dichlorvos
in 0.5 % soap solution twice at an interval of 10
days and allowing 15 days waiting period before
using the leaves as feed for silkworm was recommended (Anonymous 2010a). In California, mulberry trees infested with M. hirsutus were treated
with imidacloprid and thiamethoxam which were
found effective against the pink mealybug (Castle
and Prabhaker 2011).
Botanicals Spraying of neem oil effectively
controlled the infestation of M. hirsutus
(Ravikumar et al. 2010). Both neem seed kernel
J.B.N. Kumar et al.
extract and Pongamia seed kernel extract were
found to be more effective than seed oils against
mealybug (Narendra Kumar et al. 2006).
Spraying with 0.03 % Azdirachtin was recommended for the mealybug control @ 5 ml/litre
(safety period: 10 days) (Anonymous 2010a).
Cultural Method Kasi Reddy et al. (2004)
reported that raising of maize as intercrop in mulberry plantation increased the population of predator, Cheilomenes sexmaculata, (Fabricius)
doubly (44 %) compared to the mulberry without
intercrop (21 %) resulting in the suppression of
the pink mealybug population by 84 %. Growing
cowpea as intercrop with mulberry enhances the
population of predatory ladybird beetles such as
C. sexmaculata, which initially feeds on cowpea
aphids and slowly shifts over to mulberry mealybugs later (Jayaraj 2006). Sidde Gowda and
Kumar (1995) recommended Hibiscus cannabinus as trap crop. Mealy bug population was signiﬁcantly low in mulberry with the trap crop
(3.14 %) compared to mulberry without the trap
crop (11.44 %). As the trap crop facilitates better
colonization of M. hirsutus, it can also pave way
for preventing migration of the recommended
predatory beetles from the release sites so that
they can effectively suppress the population of
M. hirsutus on mulberry. Manjunath et al. (2003)
also indicated a signiﬁcant difference in mealybug damage in mulberry with H. cannabinus
(4.28 %) as trap crop compared to mulberry as
sole crop (26.02 %).
Samuthiravelu et al. (2005) reported that
mealybug infestation was minimized by reduced
application of nitrogenous fertilizer blended with
neem cake @60 kg/ac (3 %) followed by pongamia cake (4 %), mahua cake (4.4 %) and castor
cake (7.9 %) compared to control with recommended dose of chemical fertilizer (20.8 %).
Lavanya Latha et al. (2004) also reported that
limited irrigation once in 10 days and 25 %
reduced nitrogenous fertilizer applied in two split
doses brought down the mealybug incidence to
1.60 % from 8.5 % in control with recommended
dose of fertilizer. In addition, Narendra Kumar
et al. (2006) found that mealybug incidence was
more when nitrogenous fertilizer was applied as a
single dose and irrigated once in 6 days than
applying nitrogenous fertilizer as a split dose and
providing irrigation either once in 6 days or 8
Mechanical Method The mechanical control of
mealybugs includes clipping of infested portion
by sickle or secateur, collecting them in a polythene bag or bucket and destroying them by burning or dipping in 0.5 % soap solution (Rajadurai
2005a). According to Tomy Philip et al. (2002),
chopping the affected portion and killing the
mealybugs either by burning or dipping them in
0.5 % DDVP with 0.5 % soap solution after pruning or leaf harvest was found to be effective in
reducing mealybug population in mulberry.
63.1.3 Biological Control
In West Bengal, India it is recommended to
release predatory ladybird beetles, Cryptolaemus
montrouzieri Mulsant @250 adults/ac or Scymnus
coccivora Ayyar @500 adults/ac in two split
releases during Oct-Nov and Jan-Feb to suppress
the mealybugs (Santha Kumar et al. 1995;
Complete control of M. hirsutus was achieved
in Egypt, by introducing Anagyrus kamali Moursi
(Encyrtidae) from Java, and then later in
Caribbean islands and Florida. M. hirsutus
appeared on mulberry in California in 1999.
Subsequently, the parasitoids Anagyrus kamali,
Gyranusoidea indica Shafee, Alam & Agarwal
(Encyrtidae) and Allotropa sp. nr. mecrida
(Walker) (Platygastridae) were released for permanent establishment on mulberry trees. The
population density of M. hirsutus within the ﬁrst
year was reduced by approximately 95 %.
Anagyrus kamali was the predominant parasitoid
of M. hirsutus (Roltsch et al. 2006). Such introduction of A. kamali to India should be tried
against M. hirsutus in mulberry gardens.
The Integrated Pest Management package against
pink mealybug includes clipping and destruction
of affected terminal portion, spraying of 0.2 %
DDVP with 0.5 % soap solution and release of C.
montrouzieri @250 adults/acre. The per cent
reduction in mealybug damage ranged from
73.21 to 88.81 whereas the increase in leaf yield
ranged from 3416.68 to 4750 kg/ha/year.
Narendra Kumar et al. (2006) also recommended
that the IPM practice involving the application of
5 % Neem seed kernel extract on 10th and 20th
day after pruning (DAP) integrated with release
of predatory ladybird beetles @ 250/acre and top
clipping on 45th DAP proved better in controlling the mealybug wherein the pest suppression
was recorded to an extent of 82.17 % (Manjunath
and Katiyar (1995).
Paracoccus marginatus popularly known as
papaya mealybug (PMB) has been accidentally
introduced in to south India and posing serious
threat to several crops including mulberry. It
assumed the status of a major pest resulting in
huge losses to farmers in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
Kerala (Shekhar and Qadri 2009; Krishnakumar
and Rajan 2009; Mahalingam et al. 2010).
In mulberry, the papaya mealybugs infest leaf
buds, leaves, stem portion, stump portion after
pruning, etc. They are found congregating all
along the veins on the lower side of the leaves.
Since they suck the plant sap continuously,
affected leaves turn yellow and the plant growth
retards. In addition to sucking of plant sap they
also inject toxic substance through their saliva,
which causes deformation of plant parts. Due to
profuse honey dew secretion, black sooty mould
secretion is also formed. When the mealybugs
infest with heavy population, the plants will end
up with drying and death. Due to large quantity
of honey dew secretion, lots of ants will be
attending to them which arrive to feed on the
sweet honey dew (Shekhar and Qadri 2009).
Papaya Mealybug damage
Chemical Insecticides were recommended until
the importation of parasitoids in India.
Profenophos 50 EC @ 2 ml/litre was the most
effective in knocking down the pest population
followed by dimethoate, imidacloprid, dichlorvos and acephate (Mahalingam et al. 2010). But
profenophos was found to be toxic to silkworms
even 60 days after spray and hence considered to
be not safe to silkworms (Anonymous 2010b).
Fish Oil Rosin Soap @ 25 g/litre recorded the
lowest infestation (2.22 %) one day after treatment (Suresh et al. 2010).
Biological Control A total of 13 local natural
enemies were reported attacking P. marginatus in
India. Spalgis epius Westwood is seen devouring
all the stages of the mealybug in several mulberry
gardens (Sakthivel et al. 2010; Shekhar et al.
J.B.N. Kumar et al.
2011). However the indigenous predators are not
so effective in managing the huge populations of
papaya mealybug. Since P. marginatus is an
exotic pest, a classical biological control programme was initiated, and the parasitoid A. papayae was imported by National Bureau of
Agriculturally Important Insects (ICAR),
Bangalore during July 2010 (Shylesha et al.
2010). The parasitoid was multiplied and released
in farmers gardens through extension units of
Department of Sericulture of the southern states
of India (Qadri et al. 2011).
Impact Analysis of Classical
Biological Control of Papaya
Mealybug in Mulberry
in South India
Tamil Nadu There was 60 % damage by
papaya mealybug in Tamil Nadu (T.N.). A total
area of 10,000 acres of mulberry gardens was
found infested with P. marginatus. It was estimated that mulberry crop worth Rs. 135 crores
was lost due the papaya mealybug infestation in
T.N. According to Qadri et al. (2011), more than
33,000 adults of A. papayae were released (from
Nov 2010 to March 2011) in the papaya mealybug
infested mulberry gardens of 350 farmers in the
districts of Erode, Tiruppur and Salem. After the
release of the parasitoids, the mealybug infestation
was reduced from 90 % to less than 5 % thereby
achieving a suppression of 85–95 %. Similar control was achieved with the parasitoid in Trichy and
in Coimbatore districts in Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka A total of 15,000 adults of A. papayae were released (from Nov 2010 to Jan 2011)
in papaya mealybug infested mulberry gardens of
150 farmers covering about 300 acres mulberry
in Chamarajanagar district. Further, a total of
20,000 parasitoids were released in Mysore district covering about 400 acres under seven
Technical Service Centres (from Feb 2011 to
May 2011). After the release of the parasitoids,
90–95 % suppression in papaya mealybug infes-
tation was recorded (Qadri et al. 2011).
Surprisingly the pest incidence was reduced to
mere 1 % within 5–6 months of release. Saving
the mulberry crop thereby increasing the cocoon
production has resulted in savings to the tune of
few crores of rupees in Karnataka.
Kerala Paracoccus marginatus appeared on
mulberry in 2009 in Idukki, Wyanad, Palakkad,
Malappuram, Thrissur districts of Kerala
(Krishnakumar and Rajan 2009). Mulberry is
cultivated in about 300 acres in Kerala. Due to
release of Acerophagus papayae in 2011, mulberry crop worth few lakhs was saved. The success of classical biological control using A.
papayae has emerged as an excellent model
reviving the sericulture to normalcy in the entire
Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
Root mealybug – Paraputo sp.
Mulberry plantations in hilly areas of Northern
India such as Darjeeling and Kalimpong are
being infested by root mealybug, Paraputo sp.
(Pseudococcidae: Hemiptera) causing considerable damage. It is considered as most persistent
and noxious pest (Biswas et al. 2002; Das et al.
2004; Mukhopadhyay et al. 2010). It occurs
throughout the year with a peak during JulyAugust, and the population decreases with fall in
temperature during winter months (Biswas et al.
2002; Anonymous 2011). It is a noxious pest
which remains in the root zone as well as adjacent to stump portion below the soil surface up to
20 cm or 3ʺ deep and causes damage to root system by sucking the sap (Biswas et al. 2002;
Mukhopadhyay et al. 2010; Anonymous 2011).
The affected mulberry becomes yellow and
stunted in growth (Misra et al. 1996).
The mealybug causes appreciable damage to
mulberry directly by sucking the sap and indirectly by making way for some fungal infection,
leading to rotting of the root and ultimately death
of the plants. The infested mulberry plants show
vulnerability to the attack of various fungal
pathogens such as Fusarium solani, Phomopsis