Submitted to: Insecta Mundi
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: New Insect pests are too frequently introduced into the United States. Scale insects are notorious in this regard since they are small, are frequently concealed, and are difficult to locate. This paper draws attention to a species of scale (the papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus Williams and Granara de Willink) that has recently been discovered in the United States for the first time. It has been collected at three different locations in Florida and is considered to be a potential pest of certain ornamental plants and tropical fruits. Information is provided on hosts, distribution, and identification of this species. This information is important to US and state quarantine programs so that inspectors and identifiers will be able to determine the correct name of the species and will be able to make informed decisions on actions to be taken against this pest.
Technical Abstract: Paracoccus marginatus Williams and Granara de Willink, here called the papaya mealybug, was first detected in the United States in Bradenton, Florida in 1998. As of the end of 1998, it was found in 3 localities in the state and is expected to spread. This mealybug appears to have moved through the Caribbean Islands since its detection there in 1994. The pest is reported to cause serious damage to tropical fruit, especially papaya, and has most frequently been detected in Florida on hibiscus. It is now unknown from Antiqua, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nevis, Puerto Rico, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts, St. Martin, and the US Virgin Islands. Host include: Acacia sp., Acalypha sp., Ambrosia cumanensis, Annona squamosa, Carica papaya, Guazuma ulmifolia, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus sp., Ipomoea sp., Manihot chloristica, Manihot esculenta, Mimosa pigra, Partheninum hysterophorus, Persea americana, Plumeria sp., Sida sp., Solanum melongena. The species is believed to be native to Mexico and/or Central America.