Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2008
Publication Date: 6/13/2008
Citation: Kaushalya, A.G., Catharine, M.M., Lance, O., Epsky, N.D. 2008. Development, survival, and reproduction of Paracoccus marginatus (Homoptera:Pseudococcidae)on different host plant species.Environmental Entomology.37(3):630-635. Interpretive Summary: The papaya mealybug is an important new pest of tropical fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants in the US. This species poses a threat to numerous agricultural products in the US, however little is known about its basic biology and life history. Therefore, research was conducted by scientists SHRS in collaboration with scientists at the University of Florida to quantify papaya mealybug development, survival and reproduction on four host plant species. Papaya mealybug reproduced on all host plants, although female fecundity was lower on plumeria than on hibiscus, copperleaf or parthenium, a noxious annual weed. Results of this study provide in-depth information on the biology and life history of this important pest. This information will be used by scientists, pest control operators and regulatory agencies to develop pest management programs and to assess effectiveness of biological control agents released for population suppression and control.
Technical Abstract: Development, survival and reproduction of the papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus Williams and Granara de Willink) on three ornamental plants (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L., Acalypha sp. and Plumeria sp.) and one weed species (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) were investigated. Papaya mealybug was able to complete its life cycle on all four plants. The mean developmental time from egg to adult male and female was 28-30 d, and 24-26 d respectively with 83 ± 0.3% of the eggs hatched and first instars emerged. Survival of first and second-instar nymphs and the cumulative adult survival were lower on plumeria. Longevity of adult male and female were 2.31 ± 0.02 and 21.15 ± 0.06 d respectively. Overall, 53-59% of the adult population was female. No egg production occurred in virgin females. Pre-reproductive and reproductive period of the females were 6.29 ± 0.02 and 11.16 ± 0.02 d, respectively. Mean fecundity by female ranged from '186-244 and was lower on plumeria than on the other three plant species. The ability of papaya mealybug to develop, survive and reproduce on acalypha, plumeria and parthenium, helps it to survive and maintain its population in the absence of favorite hosts such as papaya and hibiscus.