SEASONAL PHENOLOGY AND NATURAL ENEMIES OF MACONELLICOCCUS HIRSUTUS (HEMIPTERA: PSEUDOCOCCIDAE) IN AUSTRALIA
AbstractForeign exploration for natural enemies of pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, was conducted in Australia from 2000 to 2002. In Queensland, the predaceous beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, the predaceous drosophilid fly, Cacoxenus perspicax and the encrytid parasitoid Gyranusoidea indica were recovered. In Western Australia and the Northern Territory a predatory noctuid, Mataeomera sp., an aphelinid parasitoid Coccophagus sp., and a probable encyrtid hyperparasitoid, Coccidoctonus sp. were reared from M. hirsutus on a native Hibiscus species. A field study was conducted from February 2000 to March 2002 in Sherwood, Queensland to document the seasonal phenology of M. hirsutus in its native habitat on its preferred host, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Populations of the mealybug stayed at or below detectable levels for most of the study with minor population peaks in the summer months.
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