Biological control of the papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Guam

D.E. MeyerdirkA, R. MuniappanB,C, R. WarkentinA, J. BambaB and G.V.P. ReddyB

A United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, National Biological Control Institute, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236, USA.

B Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam 96923, USA.

C Author for correspondence


The papaya mealybug (PM), Paracoccus marginatus, a pest in the Central America and the Caribbean was noted to have established on Guam in April 2002 and was causing serious damage to papaya, Plumeria spp., Hibiscus spp. and other plants. The parasitoids Anagyrus loecki, Pseudleptomastix mexicana and Acerophagous papayae totalling 46 200 individuals were introduced from Puerto Rico and field released in Guam from June to October, 2002. A reduction of over 99% of papaya mealybug was observed about a year after the introduction of these parasitoids. This has reduced risk of introduction of this mealybug to neighbouring islands in the Pacific Region. A biological control system now appears successful and is available for implementation if necessary in other islands in the Pacific region.

Keywords: Papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus, Hemiptera, Pseudococcidae, Anagyrus loecki, Pseudleptomastix mexicana, Acerophagous papayae, Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae, biological control, Guam.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2004) 19 (3) 110-114.