SURVEY OF PAPAYA MEALYBUG, PARACOCCUS MARGINATUS (HEMIPTERA: PSEUDOCOCCIDAE) AND ITS NATURAL ENEMIES IN PENNINSULAR MALAYSIA
Keywords:Host plants, mealybug, natural enemies, papaya, tropical
Papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) is a highly invasive pest and is attaining the status of regular insect pest of papaya in South and South-East Asia. Keeping in view the importance of pest, a survey was conducted in three states of Peninsular Malaysia to observe pest infestation on papaya and other host plants and natural enemies. In Selangor state, the pest infestation was recorded only on farm managed papaya plants (30.33%), while on wild and home garden papaya plants the infestation was recorded in two states Negeri Sembilan (19.67%) and Selangor 31.64%). Besides papaya, P. marginatus infestation was recorded on seven other host plants i.e. hibiscus, roselle, cassava, jatropha, plumeria, eggplant and broad bean belonging to six plant families i.e Apocynaceae, Caricaeae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Malvaceae and Solanaceae. The two predators C. montrouzieri and Apertochrysa sp. were recorded feeding on P. marginatus. The results showed significantly higher population of C. montrouzieri (4.70 ± 0.50) as compared to Apertochrysa sp. (0.90 ± 0.20) at P < 0.001. Out of 7965 P. marginatus mummies collected, four species of parasitoids were emerged. The most dominant species found was Acerophagus papayae (Encyrtidae: Hymenoptera) the primary parasitoid and the remaining three parasitoids Chartocerus sp. (Signophoridae: Hymenoptera), Marietta leopardina (Aphelinidae: Hymenoptera) and Cheiloneurus sp. (Encyrtidae: Hymenoptera) were hyperparasitoids. Overall results of parasitoid investigation showed maximum frequency (95.2 ± 0.57%) of A. papayae. However, the frequencies among Chartocerus sp., M. leopardina and Cheiloneurus sp. were recorded at the rate of 3.50 ± 0.50%, 1.00 ± 0.30% and 0.30 ± 0.10%, respectively.
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