Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 11 - Pseudococcidae (Insecta: Hemiptera) - Agricultural Importance

Cox, JM 1987. Pseudococcidae (Insecta: Hemiptera). Fauna of New Zealand 11, 232 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 11. ISBN 0-477-06791-3 (print), ). Published 07 Apr 1987

Agricultural Importance

Most of the nine more or less cosmopolitan species of mealybug recorded from New Zealand are pests of fruit trees, vines, or ornamental plants in Europe and North America, but only some of them appear to cause problems in New Zealand.

Three species of Pseudococcus - P. affinis (many New Zealand records are under the names P. maritimus and P. obscurus), P. calceolariae (many New Zealand records under the name P. comstocki), and P. longispinus (many records under the name P. adonidum) - are pests of a wide range of plants throughout the world. P. longispinus is the prevalent species on fruit trees and vines in the Auckland area, but is replaced by P. affinis on fruit trees, and by P. calceolariae on vines, throughout the more southern areas of the country. Some records of P. calceolariae may be referable to P. hypergaeus or P. similans, as the relationships of these three species were not known until Williams (1985) published his account of the Australian mealybugs.

Phenacoccus graminicola (previous New Zealand records under the name P. graminosus) is found on grasses in Australia, Europe, South Africa, and North America, but in New Zealand, and particularly around Nelson, is often found under the bark of fruit trees and under the calyces of fruit.

Rhizoecus dianthi and R. falcifer are pests on the roots of many glasshouse plants in Europe and North America. R. dianthi has been recorded only once from New Zealand (under the name R. pritchardi), but R. falcifer appears to be relatively common.

Vryburgia lounsburyi is a pest of a variety of bulbs in Europe and North America, but has been recorded only once from New Zealand.

Spilococcus leucopogi is a pest of cacti in Europe and North America (under the name S. cactearum), but appears to be uncommon in New Zealand.

Planococcus citri is a serious pest of both fruit trees and ornamental plants in many parts of the world. Although it has been collected from nurseries in New Zealand on a few occasions, it may not be established in this country.

Some native species have become pests. Balanococcus diminutus is a pest of ornamental Phormium not only in New Zealand but also in Europe and North America. Balanococcus poae has been implicated in the die-back of ryegrass and white clover pasture, and Planococcus mali has been reported as damaging blackcurrant bushes. Paracoccus glaucus is one of the commonest indigenous species, and has been recorded as causing damage to grapefruit trees (Williams & de Boer 1973).

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