n African Entomology - Seasonal phenology and natural enemies of the oleander mealybug, (Brain) (Hemiptera : Pseudococcidae), in South Africa




The importance of has risen over the years to an extent where it is now not only a serious pest of citrus, but is also a quarantine pest for citrus fruit imported from South Africa. The field biology of on citrus in the Western Cape Province of South Africa was studied through periodic sampling of leaves from twigs enclosed in sleeve cages. The species composition and abundance of natural enemies was investigated. Both adult and immature stages attained maximum population peaks in March and had four generations. The highest level of mortality was experienced in the immature stages. Climate and an unidentified fungus were the key mortality factors. The level of abundance of the two observed predators, the harlequin beetle, , and the green lacewing, sp., was relatively low. Although parasitism occurred in some cages, the level was low, ranging between 1.62 and 9.43 %. If biocontrol is the preferred method of controlling , suitable candidate parasitoids for inoculative biocontrol are sp., sp. and . The oleander mealybug does not share the same parasitoids with and except for the parasitoid sp. The most popular species of parasitoids used in the biolological control of mealybugs, sp. and sp., were insignificant in the case of .


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