SYSTEMATICS OF BEETLES IMPORTANT TO AGRICULTURE, ARBORICULTURE, AND BIOLOGICAL CONTROL
Title: Pseudococcus saccharicola Takahashi (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in the British Virgin Islands: first Western Hemisphere records, with records of a co-occurring lady beetle, Hyperaspis Scutifera (Mulsant)
Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2010
Publication Date: November 14, 2010
Citation: Wheeler, Jr., A.G., Evans, G.A., Vandenberg, N.J. 2010. Pseudococcus saccharicola Takahashi (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in the British Virgin Islands: first Western Hemisphere records, with records of a co-occurring lady beetle, Hyperaspis Scutifera (Mulsant). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 112(4):565-575.
Interpretive Summary: This paper records the occurrence of an exotic mealybug pest in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and a co-occurring lady beetle predator that feeds on mealybugs. These records constitute the first report of these two insects in the BVI and the first report of the Old World mealybug species in the Western Hemisphere. Images and diagnoses are provided, along with discussion of mealybug host plants and the possible routes of introduction of the two insects. This information will assist researchers in identifying these insect species and will aid agricultural specialists involved in evaluating predators for use in biological control programs against invasive exotic mealybugs.
Pseudococcus saccharicola Takahashi was collected on Guana Island, and nearby Beef Island and Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The records are the first in the Western Hemisphere for this potentially important Old World pest of sugarcane and certain other graminoid crops. Host plants on Guana were Chloris barbata (swollen fingergrass), C. radiata (radiate fingergrass), Cynodon dactylon (bermudagrass), and Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane). A probable mealybug predator associated with colonies of P. saccharicola on all three islands was the hyperaspidine coccinellid Hyperaspis scutifera (Mulsant), previously recorded in the West Indies only from the Leeward Antilles (Curaçao). Both the mealybug and lady beetle are considered adventive in the BVI. Diagnoses and illustrations of both species are provided to facilitate their recognition. Hyperaspis sanctaeritae Dobzhansky, 1941, described from Arizona, USA, is proposed (by N.J.V.) as a junior synonym of H. scutifera (Mulsant, 1850).