Cryptic mealybugs can infest 42 host varieties, including citrus, mango, avocado, banana, guava plants and palm trees. This pest has been reported to cause severe damage to citrus plantations. It is also known as citrus mealybug.
Soft, oval-bodied insects that are pale yellow to greenish yellow in colour, with a thick wax covering the entire body. They:
Yellowish eggs are laid in an egg sac resembling a white cottony mass, behind the female. Females can lay between 300–600 eggs, which take 3 to 6 days to hatch, depending on temperature. Male cryptic mealybugs live for 2 to 4 days after pupation. Adult females live for an average of 87.6 days as adults.
Cryptic mealybug is found in parts of Asia.
In Queensland, cryptic mealybugs have been found on islands in the Torres Strait and at a number of places in North Queensland, including Cairns.
Wind is a major factor in the spread of cryptic mealybugs, as well as the transportation of contaminated fruit and plant material.
Avocado, banana, citrus, coconut, coffee, mango, passionfruit, pineapple and ornamental plants.
Mealybugs are pests of economic importance for a wide range of hosts (see hosts listed above). They can cause damage to crops, making the crop unsuitable for market.
To prevent the spread of mealybugs, you should: