Solenopsis mealybug in parts of central and northern Queensland

Publication Date
Thu, 18 Mar 2010, 01:00
Last Updated
June 30, 2015, 8:07 a.m.
Report Number
AUS-36/2
Country
Australia
Pest Id
Phenacoccus solenopsis - (PHENSO)
Report Status
Final
Hosts
Highly polyphaus. Recorded overseas on plants from more than 50 families, including agricultural crops, amenity plants and weeds.
Pest Status
  • Present: only in some areas
Geographical Distribution
Solenopsis mealybug was first detected in Emerald in central Queensland in December 2009 and subsequently in Ayr and Bowen in northern Queensland.
Summary

Solenopsis mealybug was detected in cotton crops and ornamental plants in a number of locations in Queensland. Due to the widespread apparent distribution, eradication is not feasible. Symptoms on cotton include crinkled and twisted leaves, fewer flowers and bolls, smaller bolls and distorted/stunted plants. Although mealybugs are usually considered to be only a minor pest of cotton, occasional populations increase and hotspots of infestation occur. The industry and growers are exploring management options to limit the impact on cotton production.

Danger
Mealybugs are small, sucking insects related to aphids. They form colonies on stems and leaves, developing into dense, waxy, white masses. Adult and juvenile ‘crawlers’ weaken the plants by sucking sap from leaves, twigs, stems, roots and fruiting bodies. Long range dispersal can occur via movement of plant material, agricultural equipment and machinery and on clothing. Wind currents may distribute newly hatched nymphs and crawlers may be transported by wind and rain. Severe infestations result in plant death, honeydew and sooty mould. Heavy infestations are not effectively controlled by pesticides.
Contact for info
Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer Australian Government Department of Agriculture, GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia ippc.contactpoint@agriculture.gov.au
Website
http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/4790_16221.htm
Issue keywords
Pest status:Present/Presence
Commodity keywords

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