Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell)
Common name: Stripped mealybug.
Geographical distribution: Many subtropical and tropical regions. In the Middle East in Egypt and Israel. CIE Map #219 (revised), 1966.
Host plants: Polyphagous.
Morphology: The female is 3-5 mm long, its dorsum is covered by 2 longitudinal dark stripes that can be seen through the dusty white wax. The body is devoid of marginal wax filaments and cerarii except for the terminal pair (on the anal lobes), but it bears many long dorsal wax filaments. The antennae are 8-segmented.
Life cycle: In Israel the pest is parthenogenetic, but abroad it may reproduce sexually, especially when living in dense colonies; each female produces about 70 eggs. At 30-35ºC and 65% RH a life cycle required about 6-7 weeks, and 13-14 weeks at 16.6ºC. In Lower Egypt, on shrubs of Acalypha macrophylla Veitch (Euphorbiaceae), the pest completed 3 generation during summer. In autumn the females hide cracks and other hidden sites (possibly including the soil), remaining there till next spring. The pest can be mass-reared in the laboratory on potato sprouts.
Economic importance: This mealybug is a serious pest of many crops, including avocado, citrus, cocoa, cotton, guava, mango and others. Ddamage is due to sucking out nutrients and producing much honeydew on which sootymold fungi settle. The pest transmits cocoa viruses in West Africa and Trinidad, and a pepper virus in India.
Chemical control: The scale may be controlled with organophosphates.
Biological control: The stripped mealybug is parasitized by several endoparasitoids of the families Encyrtidae and Eulophidae. It is also attacked by Neuropteran predators and by several coccinellids, of which the more important are Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and Scymnus syriacus. Both enemies seriously reduce the pest’s populations.
Ammar, E.D., Awadallah, K.T. and, Rashad, A. 1979. Ecological studies on Ferrisia virgata Ckll. on Acalypha shrubs in Dokki, Giza (Homoptera, Pseudococcidae). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 26: 207-213.
Attia, A.R. 2006. Biological control of the striped mealybug, Ferrisia virgata (Ckll.) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) on the mulberry tree, Morus alba using the coccinellid predator, Scymnus syriacus Mars. Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 16: 45-50.
Attia, A.R. and El-Arnaouty, S.A. 2007. Use of the coccinellid predator, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant against the striped mealybug, Ferrisia virgata (Ckll.) on the ornamental plant, Agalypha macrophylla in Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 17: 71-76.
Awadallah, K.T., Ammar, E.D., Tawfik, M.F.S. and Rashad, A. 1979. Life history of the white mealybug Ferrisia virgata Ckll. _Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift _26: 101-110.
Ben-Dov, Y. 1978. The stripped mealybug, a potential pest new to Israel. Hassadeh 58: 1199-1200 (in Hebrew with an English Abstract).
Bhat, A.I., Devasahayam, S., Sarma, Y.R. and Pant, R.P. 2003. Association of a badnavirus in black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) transmitted by mealybug (Ferrisia virgata) in India. Current Science 84: 1547-1550.
Highland, H.A. 1956. The biology of Ferrisiana virgata, a pest of azaleas. Journal of Economic Entomology 49: 276-277.
Williams, D.J. 1996. A synoptic account of the mealybug genus Ferrisia Fullaway (Hem., Pseudococcidae). Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 132: 1-10.