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Parasitoids and predators of the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) infesting the herb, Withania somnifera, a new host plant in Egypt.

Attia, A. R. ; Awadallah, K. T.

Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 2016 Vol 26 No. 2 pp. 245-248;


In the present study, the Egyptian Ashwagandha herb, Withania somnifera was firstly recorded in Egypt as a host plant for the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). The population of P. citri and its associated parasitoids and predators were investigated during the four months June-September, 2015. Highest infestation rate of the pest was recorded in June. Respective mean counts of 51.0, 319.3 and 259.3 individuals/branch (15 cm. long.) were recorded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd nymphal instars, in addition to 95.3 adults/branch. Three encyrtid primary endoparasitoids recovered from P. citri, i.e. Coccidoxenoides peregrines (Timberlank), Leptomastidae abnormis (Girault) and Anagyrus pseudococci (Girault). The parasitoid, C. peregrinus was the most abundant; constituting 88.8 and 93.9% of the total count in June and July, respectively. No hyperparasitoids were secured. Encapsulation phenomenon was observed during the course of this study. The high percentage of encapsulation (22.5%) occurred in the adult stage compared to 5% only in each of the 2nd or the 3rd nymphal instars of P. citri. The cecidomyiid, Diadiplosis donaldi (Harris) was the only predacious species secured. It was firstly recorded in Egypt in the present study, feeding on P. citri infesting this herb.