Notes on a new mealybug (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae) pest in Florida and the Caribbean: the papaya mealybug, <I>Paracoccus marginatus</I> Williams and Granara de Willink


  • Douglass R. Miller
  • Douglas J. Williams
  • Avas B. Hamon


detection, papaya, tropical fruit, hibiscus, distribution, identification


Paracoccus marginatus Williams and Granara de Willink, here called the papaya mealybug, was first detected in the United States in Hollywood, Florida in 1998. By the end of 1998 it was found in four localities in the state and has since spread to nine localities in five counties. This mealybug appears to have moved through the Caribbean area since its 1994 detection in the Dominican Republic. The pest is reported to cause serious damage to tropical fruit, especially papaya, and has been detected most frequently, in Florida, on hibiscus. It is now known from Antigua, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nevis, Puerto Rico, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts, St. Martin, and the US Virgin Islands. Hosts include: Acacia sp.(Luguminosae), Acalypha sp.(Euphorbiaceae), Ambrosia cumanensis (Compositae), Annona squamosa (Annonaceae), Carica papaya (Caricaceae), Guazuma ulmifolia (Sterculiaccea), Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Euphorbiaceae), Hibiscus sp. (Euphorbiaceae), Ipomoea sp. (Convolvulaceae), Manihot chloristica (Euphorbiaceae), Manihot eseulenta (Euphorbiaceae), Mimosa pigra (Lugiminosae), Parthenium hysterophorus (Compositae), Persea americana (Lauraceae), Plumeria sp. (Apocynaceae), Sida sp. (Malvaceae), Solanum melongena (Solanaceae). The species is believed to be native to Mexico and/or Central America.