Leptomastidea abnormis

Leptomastidea abnormis (Girault)

Systematic position: Insecta, Holometabola, Hymenoptera, Apocrita, Chalcidoidea, Encyrtidae.

Morphology: Adults are about 0.75-1.5 in length, yellow-brown to gray, wings with three dark stripes. The females with a lighter area on the abdomen.

Distribution: Almost cosmopolitan.

Hosts: Pseudococcidae, such as Planococcus citri, Pseudococcus cryptus, Pseudococcus longispinus, Ferrisia virgata, Maconellicoccus hirsutus and others.

Life history: The parasitoid places its eggs (200-300/female) singly in the second or third instar of the mealybug host. Development requires about 3 weeks and the adults live for 4-5 weeks. The threshold of development was calculated to be at 10.3ºC, and 375 day degrees are needed for development.

Economic importance: An important natural enemy of P. citri, that controlled about 90% of this pest infesting guava and coffee bushes in a greenhouse. In Egypt the parasitoid killed up to 21% of M. hirsutus. Several companies are mass-rearing and selling L. abnormis for controlling P. citri.


Abd-Rabou, S. 2000. Parasitoids attacking the hibiscus mealybug Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green) (Homoptera : Pseudococcidae) in Egypt. Proceeding of the Scientific Conference of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Assiut University. Vol. II: 661-666.

Berlinger, M.J. 1977. The Mediterranean vine mealybug and its natural enemies in southern Israel. Phytoparasitica 5: 3-14.

Cadée, N.; Alphen, J.J.M. 1997, Host selection and sex allocation in Leptomastidea abnormis, a parasitoid of the citrus mealybug Planococcus citri. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 83: 277-284.

Summy, K. R., J. V. French, and W. G. Hart 1986. Citrus mealybug (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) on greenhouse citrus: density-dependent regulation by an encyrtid parasite complex. Journal of Economic Entomology 79: 891-895.

Tingle, C.C.D. and Copland, M.J.W. 1988. Predicting development of mealybug parasitoids Anagyrus pseudococci, Leptomastix dactylopii and Leptomastidea abnormis under glasshouse conditions. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 46: 19-28.

Tingle, C.C.D. and Copland, M.J.W. 1988, Effects of temperature and host-plant regulation of glasshouse mealybug (Hemiptera, Pseudococcidae) populations by introduced parasitoids (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research 78: 135-141.

Trjapitzin, V.A. 2009. Review of the species of the genus Leptomastidea Mercet, 1916 (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae) of the world, with description of a new species from Montenegro and with separation of a new genus from Turkmenia. Entomological Review 89: 203–212.

Yiğit, A. and Telli, S. 2013. Distrubution, host plants and natural enemies of Pseudococcus cryptus Hempel (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), injurious to citrus plantations in Hatay. Turkish Journal of Entomology 37: 359-373 (in Turkish with an English abstract).