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First report of the invasive mealybug, Phenacoccus parvus Morrison infesting Naga King chili and its colonization potential on major host plants in India.

Firake, D. M. ; Behere, G. T. ; Sharma, B. ; Fand, B. B.

Phytoparasitica 2016 Vol 44 No. 2 pp. 187-194;


The lantana mealybug, Phenacoccus parvus Morrison (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), although had made its entry in continental India since 2012, however, was hitherto not reported to occur in northeast India. The present study reports first record of P. parvus invasion on Naga King chili, Capsicum chinense Jacquin (Family: Solanaceae) plants in the Meghalaya state of India. During the surveys, the infested plants were found stunted, withered and did not bear flowers. In case of severe infestation, 100% mortality of young plants and seedlings was observed. Being an economically important crop, biological knowledge about P. parvus in relation to C. chinense is highly imperative for devising effective management strategy against this invasive mealybug. We studied basic biological attributes of P. parvus like development times, survival and fecundity on C. chinense and other potential host plants under in vitro conditions. The biological parameters studied on the five test host plants were on par with each other with less significant differences. Developmental time of P. parvus was found to be significantly higher on Solanum tuberosum L. (Family: Solanaceae) (26.40±0.75 days) and Lycopersicon esculentum L (Family: Solanaceae) (26.60±0.51 days) compared to C. chinense (24.00±0.55 days), Callistephus chinensis (L.) Nees (Family: Asteraceae) (23.20±0.58 days) and Lantana camara L. (Family: Verbenaceae) (20.60±2.20 days). Overall results revealed that, P. parvus has a potential to cause significant damage to all the host plants tested in this study. The information generated in this study helps in undertaking timely management options for P. parvus prior to its incidence reaches alarming proportions.