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Feeding potential of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri against the mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis

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Abstract

Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is an exotic species native to the USA, damaging cotton and other plant families. The feeding potential of different development stages of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant, a biological control agent against mealybugs, was investigated on different development stages of P. solenopsis. Fourth instar grubs and adults of C. montrouzieri were the most voracious feeders on different instars of mealybug. The number of 1st instar nymphs of mealybug consumed by 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th instar larvae and adult beetles of C. montrouzieri was 15.56, 41.01, 125.38, 162.69 and 1613.81, respectively. The respective numbers of 2nd and 3rd instar nymphs of mealybug consumed were 11.15 and 1.80, 26.35 and 6.36, 73.66 and 13.32, 76.04 and 21.16, 787.95 and 114.66. The corresponding figures for adult female mealybugs were 0.94, 3.23, 8.47, 12.71 and 73.40, respectively. The results indicate that C. montrouzieri has the potential to be exploited as a biocontrol agent in North India; inoculative releases of 4th instar larvae and adults may provide instant control of P. solenopsis. Field experiments should be conducted to determine the efficiency of the ladybird on this mealybug.

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Acknowledgment

The authors wish to express their gratitude to the Director, NBAII, Bangalore, for providing the basic culture of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri for research work.

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Correspondence to Harmeet Kaur.

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Kaur, H., Virk, J.S. Feeding potential of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri against the mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis . Phytoparasitica 40, 131–136 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12600-011-0211-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12600-011-0211-3

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