Seasonal Phenology, Spatial Distribution, and Sampling Plan for the Invasive Mealybug Phenacoccus peruvianus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

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Phenacoccus peruvianus Granara de Willink (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is an invasive mealybug of Neotropical origin. In recent years it has invaded the Mediterranean Basin causing significant damages in bougainvillea and other ornamental plants. This article examines its phenology, location on the plant and spatial distribution, and presents a sampling plan to determine P. peruvianus population density for the management of this mealybug in southern Europe. Six urban green spaces with bougainvillea plants were periodically surveyed between March 2008 and September 2010 in eastern Spain, sampling bracts, leaves, and twigs. Our results show that P. peruvianus abundance was high in spring and summer, declining to almost undetectable levels in autumn and winter. The mealybugs showed a preference for settling on bracts and there were no significant migrations between plant organs. P. peruvianus showed a highly aggregated distribution on bracts, leaves, and twigs. We recommend a binomial sampling of 200 leaves and an action threshold of 55% infested leaves for integrated pest management purposes on urban landscapes and enumerative sampling for ornamental nursery management and additional biological studies.

Keywords: Phenacoccus peruvianus; phenology; sampling; spatial distribution; urban landscape

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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