New Horizons in Insect Science: Towards Sustainable Pest Management

pp 419-431


Temperature-Based Phenology Modeling and GIS-Based Risk Mapping: A Tool for Forecasting Potential Changes in the Abundance of Mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

  • Babasaheb B. FandAffiliated withNational Institute of Abiotic Stress Management (ICAR) Email author 
  • , Henri EZ TonnangAffiliated withCrop Management and Production Systems Division, International Potato Center (CIP)
  • , Mahesh KumarAffiliated withNational Institute of Abiotic Stress Management (ICAR)
  • , Ankush L. KambleAffiliated withNational Institute of Abiotic Stress Management (ICAR)
  • , SK BalAffiliated withNational Institute of Abiotic Stress Management (ICAR)

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Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a highly invasive and a polyphagous pest of worldwide importance. Its recent outbreak and rapid spread in Indian cotton growing belt caused large scale devastation. A study was undertaken with a basic assumption that the future distribution and abundance of P. solenopsis will be affected seriously by temperature alterations due to global climate change, which might further aggravate the yield losses. The population growth potential of P. solenopsis was estimated at six constant temperatures ranging from 15 to 40 °C. The phenology models established using best fitting functions in a rate summation and cohort up-dating approach were employed in a geographic information system for mapping population growth potentials according to real-time or interpolated temperature data, for both current and future climate to predict the impact of climate change. The risks for population establishment and survival, average numbers of generations and potential population increase/year were computed using interpolated daily minimum and maximum temperatures at a spatial resolution of 10 arc minutes obtained from worldclim database ( The real-time weather station data from two selected locations across India were used to analyze within-year variation of pest population increase due to seasonal climate fluctuations. The model predicted favorable temperature range for P. solenopsis development, survival, and reproduction within a range of 20–35 °C with maximum population growth potential and shorter generation length at 30 °C. The findings revealed significant changes in P. solenopsis activity under climate change scenario, including expansion of a geographical distribution range at higher latitudes and altitudes, marked increase in the number of generations/year and increased abundance and damage activity in present distribution range in India. The study generated knowledge on temperature-dependent population dynamics and growth potential of P. solenopsis crucial for undertaking agroecoregion specific management strategies.


Climate change Invasive pests Phenology modeling Risk mapping