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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347764

Research Project: Systematics of Hemiptera and Related Groups: Plant Pests, Predators and Disease Vectors

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Molecular and morphological identification of the mealybug pest species, Phenacoccus solani Ferris (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), in Egypt

item DEWER, YOUSSEF - Plant Protection Research Institute
item ABDEL-FATTAH, RASHA - Agricultural Research Center Of Egypt
item Schneider, Scott

Submitted to: European Plant Protection Organization Bulletin
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2018
Publication Date: 3/12/2018
Citation: Dewer, Y., Abdel-Fattah, R.S., Schneider, S.A. 2018. Molecular and morphological identification of the mealybug pest species, Phenacoccus solani Ferris (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), in Egypt. European Plant Protection Organization Bulletin. 48(1):155-159.

Interpretive Summary: Many scale insects are recognized as highly invasive pests, responsible for billions of dollars of annual agricultural losses resulting from direct damage to plants and associated management costs. The solanum mealybug is a generalist pest that has spread from North America to every other continent. This is the first report for the occurrence of the solanum mealybug in Egypt and the first report of this species attacking pumpkin crops, with heavy infestations in the main pumpkin-growing region of Egypt. In this article, we describe the morphological and molecular information used in identifying the species attacking pumpkins. The DNA sequence data provided can further aid ongoing efforts to track the spread of this species.

Technical Abstract: During the summer and autumn of 2016, heavy infestations of the mealybug, Phenacoccus solani Ferris (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), were observed on pumpkins, Cucurbita spp. (Cucurbitaceae). This was the first record of the species in Egypt. Several populations have been collected in various pumpkin fruits from Rosetta city at the northwestern Nile River delta, Lower Egypt which is bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This species is widely distributed across the world. In this study, our aim was to identify the principle mealybug species infesting the major pumpkin-producing regions in Egypt, by molecular and morphological characterization. DNA and morphological data from eight specimens were used to confirm the identity of these pests as Phenacoccus solani.