Comstock Mealybug


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Comstock Mealybug

 

(Pseudococcus comstocki), an insect of the family Pseudococcidae of the suborder Coccoidea, a dangerous pest of many agricultural crops. The females are wingless; their elongate-oval bodies reach 5 mm in length and have a white waxy sheen. The males are often extremely small.

The Comstock mealybug is native mainly to tropical regions of East Asia but has been introduced accidentally to all continents. In the USSR the insect is an object of internal and external quarantine; it is found in Uzbekistan, Kirghizia, Tadzhikistan, southern Kazakhstan, and Transcaucasia. In Middle Asia three generations develop each year. The eggs (as many as 600) winter in fissures, under tree bark, or in the soil. The larvae hatch in April, damaging leaves, shoots, trunks, and—less commonly—roots and tubers. The plants are devitalized or killed. The pest is distributed in planting material and fruits, as well as by wind and water. Control measures include examining and decontaminating produce before its removal from regions where the pest is distributed, treatment of damaged plants with pesticides, and biological control (the use of Opuntia vulgaris, a parasite of the insect).

REFERENCE

Spravochnik po karantinnym is drugim opasnym vrediteliam, bolezniam isornym rasleniiam, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.

A. N. ELIZAROVA