Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Mealybugs are important pests in agricultural systems particularly on fruit trees, woody ornamentals, and in greenhouses. The purpose of this research is to describe a mealybug that is new to science that is believed to be a serious pest of blueberries in the eastern United States. The species has an unusual life history since it has never been found without associated ants, and it continues to develop even during the coldest months of the year. This information is important to blueberry farmers and may lead to strategies for control.
Technical Abstract: A new species of mealybug, Dysmicoccus vaccinii Miller and Polavarapu, is described that is believed to be a pest of highbush blueberries, Vaccinium corymbosum L. It has an unusual life history since most instars can be found in the field throughout the year, including January and February. The four female instars and five male instars are described and illustrated, including apterous and macropterous adult males. The blueberry mealybug is suggested as a common name. New synonymy is included as follows: Dysmicoccs bispinosus Beardsley is considered to be a junior synonym of D. texensis (Tinsley).