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4 Root mealybug – Paraputo sp.

4 Root mealybug – Paraputo sp.

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Root mealybug damage to mulberry

mori and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Due to

this, decaying of bark portion of root and stem

occurs with severe anthracnose disease. Finally,

it results in the death of such severely affected

mulberry plants (Biswas et al. 2002).

Highest density of this perennial pest is

observed at 7.5–15 cm depth on the underground

stem and root region of mulberry during June–

September. The population diminishes with the

fall in atmospheric temperature and humidity.

Nymphal population is double vis-à-vis the

adults (females) from March to August, and

remains at par with adults during autumn and

winter. The steadiness of the pest population

(infestation) pattern suggests that the microclimate at 7.5–15 cm depth of the soil, i.e. at root

stem transition zone was to the best of liking and

most congenial for this persistent pest of mulberry (Das et al. 2004).

Citronella oil (5 %) performed better towards

controlling root mealybug followed by 5 % neem

oil and 5 % neem leaf extract, without any

adverse effect on silkworm rearing (Anonymous

2011). Biswas et al. (2002) reported that carbofuran (3 % a.i.) and endosulfan (0.2 % a.i.) were

effective in controlling root mealybug for longer



Pseudococcus comstocki

In California, the imported natural enemy complex consisted of three parasitoids, Pseudaphycus

malinus Gah. and Allotropa burrelli Mues. and A.


convexifrons Mues., plus native predators, mainly

Leucopis ocellaris Mall. and Chrysopa spp. The

population density of P. comstocki was reduced

by a maximum of 68 % in East Porterville from

1972 to 1976, 71 % in Central Porterville and 73

% in West Porterville from 1974 to 1976 as a

result of the newly established natural enemy

complex. Allotropa convexifrons, the last to be

established, was now the dominant parasite

(Meyerdirk et al. 1981). In Odessa region of the

Crimea (USSR), the mealybug Pseudococcus

comstocki was reduced 76.8–96.8 % with the

release of the exotic parasitoid Pseudaphycus sp.

(Romanchenko and Bel’skaya 1981).


Ferrisia virgata (Ckll)

Ferrisia virgata (striped mealybug) appeared in

severe form on Morus alba at Giza region, Egypt

during 2004–2005. Scymnus syriacus Mars. was

released for the control of the striped mealybug, F.

virgata (Ckll) attacking M. alba. Percentage of

reduction among the nymphs and adults of F. virgata,

30 days after releasing of the predator reached 94.08

and 68.99 %, respectively, and 99.76 % after 100

days for nymphs and 92.27 % for adults (Attia 2006).


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M. Mani and G.N. Rao



Mealybugs are found to be injurious to tobacco

(Nicotiana tabacum) in India, Zimbabwe, Africa,

Italy, Argentina, etc. (Table 64.1). Phenacoccous

solenopsis (Tinsley) has been reported both in the

nursery and fields in India (Rao 2009; Bhatt

2010). Heavy infestation of P. solani has been

reported to be found in Zimbabwe.



P. solenopsis appears in early sown tobacco nurseries and multiplies in large number and causes

damage to young leaves by sucking sap from the

succulent leaves. The affected leaves show puckering symptoms and become brittle during the

later course of development. As many as 19

mealybugs were recorded in each nursery bed. In

the main field, mealybug damage was also

observed. The mealybugs were found on the ventral side of the lower leaves, and they were found

to suck the sap. Ants were also noticed visiting

the mealybugs for honeydew. This pest was

M. Mani (*)

Indian Institute of Horticultural Research,

Bangalore 560089, India

e-mail: mmani1949@yahoo.co.in

noticed during the crop season when hot weather

condition prevailed and rains were delayed.

About 20–28 mealybugs were observed on the

ventral side of 4–5 lower leaves of 10–15 %

plants. Crinkling of the lower leaves and puckering in young leaves was observed (photo) due to

the damage of the pest in Andhra Pradesh (Rao

2009). In Gujarat, P.solenopsis has been reported

as the major species. At the initial stage, the

mealybugs attach themselves to the lower leaves

and suck the cell sap. The infested leaves of

tobacco showed sickly appearance, dried out

before maturity, and the quality of leaf also deteriorated (Bhatt 2010).



Biological Control The Australian ladybird

beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Mulsant)

(2–3 per tobacco plant) gave good control of

F. virgata in the glasshouse. The mealybug population declined from 16/cm2 to 0 after 35 days of

release (Gautam et al. 1988). C. montrouzieri can

also be used to control P. solenopsis on tobacco

(Rao 2009). In Gujarat, the encyrtid Aenasius

bambawalei (Hayat) was found on P.solenopsis

(up to 30 % parasitism). Parasitized mealybugs

turned reddish brown, loss of white mealy powder from their mummified body (Bhatt 2010).

G.N. Rao

Central Tobacco Research Institute,

Rajamundry, AP, India

© 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_64


M. Mani and G.N. Rao


Table 64.1 List of mealybugs recorded on tobacco

Mealybug Species

Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell)



Geococcus coffeae (Green)

Phenacoccus solani (Ferris)

Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley)

Planococcus citri (Risso)

Pseudococcus notobilis (Leonardi)

Trionymus nicotinicola (Williams and

Granar de Willink)






Chemical Since tobacco is a high-value crop,

the leaf is used for human consumption; care is to

be taken to select the chemicals for the control of

mealybugs. Chloripyriphos–– 0.05 % spray gave

100 % control of the mealybugs in Andhra

Pradesh (Rao 2009). On tobacco, methomyl

90.80 % and profenophos had significantly

reduced the mealybug population of P.solenopsis

in Gujrat (Bhatt et al. 2009).


Bhatt NA (2010) Mealybug [Phenacoccus solenopsis

Tinsley (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae)] – a serious

pest of tobacco in Gujarat. Insect Environ



Gautam et al. (1988); http://www.plantwise.org/


Ben-Dov (1994)


Rao (2009); Bhatt (2010)


Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Bhatt NA, Jyani DB, Patel AD (2009) Mealybug

Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley- An emerging pest of

bidi tobacco in Gujarat. In: Proceedings of national

symposium IPM strategies to combat emerging pests

in the current scenario of climate change, 28–30 Jan

2009. Chfcau,Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, p 38

Ben-Dov Y (1994) A systematic catalogue of the mealybugs of the world (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea:

Pseudococcidae and Putoidae) with data on geographical distribution, host plants, biology and economic

importance. Intercept Limited, Andover, 686 p

Gautam RD, Paul AVN, Srivastava KP (1988) Preliminary

studies on Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Muls. against

the white tailed mealybug Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell)

infesting tobacco plants. J Biol Control 82:12–13

Rao GN (2009) Status paper on mealy bug on tobacco. In:

Proceedings of interactive meeting on mealybugs and

its management held at IIHR, Bangalore, 5–6th

December 2009, 146 p



M. Mani

Biodiesel produced from nonfood crops like

Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) is one of the most

promising solutions for tackling the growing carbon emissions from transport. Paracoccus marginatus (Williams and Granara de Willink) was

found to cause serious damage on jatropha in

India (Regupathy, and Ayyasamy, 2009; PretheepKumar et al. 2013), Malaysia (Mastoi et al.

2011), and Sri Lanka (Galanihe et al. 2010) The

infestation resulted in symptoms like crinkling or

twisting of leaves and shoots, bunched and

unopened leaves, yellowing of leaves or leaf

drop, fruit drop, appearance of honeydew on

leaves, sooty mould development, stunted

growth, deformation, and death of the plants in

case of severe infestation. Ferrisia virgata

(Cockerell), Phenacoccus herreni (Cox and

Williams), and Planococcus minor (Maskell) are

known to attack Jatropha sp. In California, roots

of jatropha were found infested with the mealybug Rhizoecus bicirculus (McKenzie) (Ben-Dov

1994). A prediction model has been developed,

which could act as an indicator of the severity of

the mealybug Paracoccus marginatus damage in

jatropha plantations, under tropical conditions, if

no proper pest management measures had been

employed (Pretheep-Kumar et al. 2013). The

model for predicting the percentage of mealybug

infestation in jatropha was of the form:

y = ax1b + cx2d, where y is the percentage of mealybug infestation, x1 is the mean monthly temperature, x2 is the mean monthly rainfall, and a, b, c,

d are the coefficients: a = 1.172; b = 1.951;

c = 3.722; d = 9.024. Standard error = 7.231;

Correlation coefficient = 0.966. It was apparent

that the percentage of mealybug damage in jatropha decreased with increase in rainfall and vice

versa (Pretheep-Kumar et al. 2013).

M. Mani (*)

Indian Institute of Horticultural Research,

Bangalore 560089, India

e-mail: mmani1949@yahoo.co.in

© 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_65


M. Mani


Paracoccus marginatus damage to jatropha

Ten natural enemies, including parasitoids

viz. Acerophagus papayae (Noyes and Schauff),

Anagyrus loecki (Noyes), Pseudleptomastix mexicana (Noyes and Schauff), and predators like

Spalgis epeus (Westwood), Cryptolaemus

montrouzieri (Mulsant), Brumoides suturalis

(Fabricius), Cheilomenes sexmaculata (Fabricius),

Scymnus coccivora (Ayyar), Chilocorus sp., and

Chrysoperla zastrowi (Sillemi) (Esben-Petersen)

were found attacking P. marginatus in India.

Among them, Acerophagus papayae was found to

be highly effective in controlling the mealybug

population in Bangalore North.

Mealybugs Ferrisia virgata and Planococcus

sp. suck the plant’s sap, resulting in yellowing,

withering and drying of plants, and shedding of

leaves and fruits. The foliage and fruits become

covered with large quantities of sticky honeydew,

which serves as a medium for the growth of black

sooty moulds, resulting in the reduction of the

photosynthetic area. Some ladybird beetles,

including Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Olla

v-nigrum, and Azya luteipes, together with syrphids such as Alloagrapta oblique, are known

predators of mealybugs. Chemicals such as diazinon, malathion, dimethoate, and parathion are

effective in controlling F. virgata. However, they

have to be sprayed repeatedly to achieve satisfactory control. The combination of parathion and

malathion with white oils makes spraying more

efficient. To manage the insects at the beginning

of a local outbreak, severely infested branches

should be cut and burnt immediately (file:///C:/



20under%20attack.pdf). The systemic acephate

on the plant can be used to clear up the mealybugs on jatropha. Spraying is to be done twice at

10-day intervals. Sprays can be scheduled in the

early morning or evening when the temperatures

are low. (http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/200006- 23/lifestyle/0006220403_1_mealybugtoads-seeds)


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Resistant Pest Manag Newsl 19(1):37–40

Forage Crops and Grasses


Narendra S. Kulkarni and M. Mani

Fodder crops and grasses harbour large number

of mealybugs throughout the world (Table 66.1).

Though a number of mealybugs are recorded on

grasses and fodder crops, only some are known to

cause economic damage.


Rhizoecus kondonis

The mealybug Rhizoecus kondonis Kuwana feeds

on alfalfa roots causing severe damage to alfalfa. It

sucks out plant juices, which causes stunting and

yellowing of plants. The infestations generally start

in small circular areas near the field borders and

gradually increase in size up to an acre or so. Within

Rhizoecus kondonis

N.S. Kulkarni (*)

Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute,

Dharwad 580 005, India

e-mail: narendrask@yahoo.co.in

the infested areas, the plant stand is sparse and

existing plants yield poorly and weeds often overtake these areas. The mealybugs produce white

webbing and clusters of whitish eggs, so they’re

often obvious in the soil. Ground mealybug is

restricted to the heavier soils. The eggs, nymphs

and adults all occur in the soil. Infestations in

alfalfa fields generally occur in “circular” patches

and spread slowly. The damage to alfalfa plants is

very apparent in the summer months but less so

during the winter and spring (McKenzie 1967).

There are three generations per year. Mealybugs

are abundant in July-August, December-January

and March-April. Significantly more R. kondonis

were found 15.2–45.7 cm deep in the soil.

Ground mealybug damage in foreground compared

with undamaged field in the background

M. Mani

Indian Institute of Horticultural Research,

Bangalore 560089, India

© 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_66


Chaetococcus australis


Chlorozococcus sorghi


Dysmicoccus andropogonisn


Dysmicoccus boninsis



Italy & Korea


South Africa



Australia & Papua New







Cynodon & Sorgum



Cyprus & grasses

Cynodon dactylon


Andropogon grass

Sorghum & Cynodon



New Zealand

New Zealand

Williams (2004)


Sri Lanka

France, Italy & Spain


Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)

De Lotto (1967)

David and Ananthakrishnan (2004)

Miller (1973)

Williams et al. (1981)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Kozar (1983)

Culik and Gullan (2005)

Cox (1987)

Charles et al. (2009)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams (2001)


Ben-Dov (1994)


Many countries

Bermuda grass,


Pasture grass



Antonina purpurea Signoret

Antonina graminis, A. indica

Hall., A. natalensis Brain &

A. transvaalensis Brain

Antonina graminis (Maskell)

Balanococcus botulus Cox

Balanococcus poae


Balanococcus mediterraneus



notodanthoniae Cox

Brevennia cyanadontis


Brevennia filicus (DeLotto)

Brevennia rehi (Lindinger)

Antonina martima Green

Plant species

Cyprus, Cyanodon,


Cyprus, Cyanodon

Mealybug species

Antonina graminis (Maskell)

Table 66.1 List of mealybugs attacking the grasses and fodder crops


N.S. Kulkarni and M. Mani

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