Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predatory Insects May Help Solve Mealybug Problem

Date:
April 25, 2005
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators have joined forces to control the pink hibiscus mealybug, which, if unchecked, could cause an estimated $750 million in crop losses annually in the United States.

This hibiscus plant shows leaf deformation and terminal stunting from mealybug feeding. Research leader David Hall examines mealybugs being preyed upon by ladybugs.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators have joined forces to control the pink hibiscus mealybug, which, if unchecked, could cause an estimated $750 million in crop losses annually in the United States.

Related Articles


This invasive pest, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, was first found in Florida several years ago and is spreading within Florida and to other states. As it feeds, the mealybug injects saliva into the plant, causing malformation, stunting and eventual death.

Research leader David Hall and entomologist Stephen Lapointe of the ARS Subtropical Insects Research Unit (SIRU), Fort Pierce, Fla., are leading an effort to find biological methods to stop the pest.

Before the pest came to Florida in 2002, Lapointe, working in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, discovered that female pink hibiscus mealybugs (PMH) emit a powerful pheromone that attracts males. To recreate this chemical in the laboratory, Lapointe used a hormone analog to eliminate male PHMs from a colony, leaving only females for pheromone analyses.

He also developed a simple diet for feeding the mealybugs, showing that PHM could be reared--for research purposes--on an artificial diet. Due to the expanding infestation of the mealybug, research to develop an optimal artificial diet was recently initiated at the Fort Pierce laboratory.

In addition to these efforts, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services responded to the Florida infestation by releasing two effective mealybug parasites, Anagyrus kamali and Gyranusoidea indica, along with a predatory ladybug, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. These releases have resulted in a reduction of more than 98 percent in PHM population density in some locations.

Lapointe's new artificial PHM diet will enable the production of larger numbers of healthy mealybugs to rear wasps and ladybugs needed for successful PHM-control programs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Predatory Insects May Help Solve Mealybug Problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421233546.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2005, April 25). Predatory Insects May Help Solve Mealybug Problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421233546.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Predatory Insects May Help Solve Mealybug Problem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421233546.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins