Mealybugs, cotton, Ethiopia Minimize

December 2011. A request to help identify mealybugs on cotton from the rift valley areas of Ethiopia where lost production has occurred. Recommendations for biological control were also requested.

It was suggested that for correct identification the specimens need to be clear-mounted on a slide. It was suggested too that contact be made with Demian Takumasa Kondo, am expert on scales:

It was thought unlikely to be Planococcus citri (as said by a member), and more likely to be a species of Phenacoccus of which there are two neotropical species spreading westwards around the world: Ph. solani and Ph. solenopsis. These species are difficult to separate, even when slide mounted. Another possibility is Paracoccus marginatus. All three mealybugs are polymorphic, and can attack crops including vegetables.