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1 Pink Hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus

1 Pink Hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus

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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




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).

63.1.2 Management

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;

Anonymous 2010a).

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.

Integrated Pest

Management (IPM)

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).


Papaya mealybug,

Paracoccus marginatus

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

P. marginatus

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).

63.2.1 Damage

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

to mulberry

63.2.2 Management

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

Acerophagus papayae

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

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