Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mealybugs

Mealybug is a group of scale insects often found infesting herbaceous plants. The insects are so called mealybugs because the females secrete waxy materials to cover their bodies as a means of protection against enemies and also against loss of water. Mealybugs are classified in the order Homoptera, Family Pseudococcidae, which comprises many genera. The while the females are whitish due to the presnce of the wax, the males are small winged insects that can fly. The occurence of distinct morphological differences between the sexes is termed as sexual dimorphism.

They have worlrdwide dstribution espesially in the hot tropics and subtropics. It can be a problem in greenhouses. The insects feed on plant sap using sucking mouth parts. They form colonies on the stems and the underside of leaves. The infested leaves often become curled and deformed. Thus, infested plants become uneconomical.

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