Widespread infestation of the exotic mealybug species, Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), on cotton in India.Bull Entomol Res. 2009 Oct; 99(5):537-41.BE
A survey was conducted in 47 locations in nine cotton-growing states of India to identify the composition of mealybug species occurring on cotton. Results of the taxonomic study showed that two mealybug species, the solenopsis mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley), and the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), were found to infest cotton plants from all nine cotton growing states of the country. However, P. solenopsis was found to be the predominant mealybug species, comprising 95% of the samples examined. P. solenopsis, which was hitherto not reported to occur in India, now appears to be widespread on cotton in almost all cotton-growing states of the country. P. solenopsis is an exotic species originated from the USA and was reported to damage cotton and crops of 14 families. This report discusses the implications of the introduction of this exotic polyphagous pest species and the necessary steps to mitigate its potential threat to agriculture in India.