Pseudococcus maritimus

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Pseudococcus maritimus (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs Archive, USDA Agricultural Research Service - IPM Images

Pseudococcus maritimus (Ehrhorn, 1900) - (grape mealybug)

The mealybug is an important pest of table grapes in North America and also attacks fruit trees and other crops. The mealybug feeds on leaves, young shoots and grape clusters. It excretes honeydew which promotes the growth of sooty molds on the grapes. It is also able to transmit a number of plant viruses, like the Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3.

There are usually 2 generations per year with the 2nd generation causing most of the damage. It overwinters in the egg or crawler stage. The natural enemies of the mealybug are very important and the use of broad-spectrum insecticides, which kill these beneficials, can cause outbreaks.

Vernacular names
• English: grape mealybug
• Español: cochinilla de la uva
• Français: cochenille de la vigne
• Português: piolho-branco

The female is about 5 mm long, oval and often light orange or pink in colour with long wax filaments at the posterior end and shorter filaments around the outer margin.