Emerging Pest Alert

First detection of the lebbeck mealybug, Nipaecoccus viridis, in the continental United States

Scientific Name: Nipaecoccus viridis

Describer: Newstead

Common Name: Lebbeck mealybug

Title: First detection of the lebbeck mealybug, Nipaecoccus viridis, in the continental United States


Significance: Native to Asia and widespread throughout the tropics and subtropics, the lebbeck mealybug has been detected for the first time in southern Florida (Stocks and Hodges, 2010). Nipaecoccus viridis is known to attack hosts in more than 35 different plant families (Ben-Dov et al., 2010). It is a significant pest of multiple economic crops, including tropical fruits, citrus, avocados, soybeans, cotton, and ornamentals. The mealybug colonizes branches, twigs, shoots, leaves, flower buds, and fruits of host plants, secreting large amounts of honeydew (Sharaf and Meyerdirk, 1987). Various parasites and predators have been identified as biological control agents (Sharaf and Meyerdirk,1987), including the mealybug destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, which is present in Florida.

Distribution: Found throughout Asia, Africa, and Oceania as well as the Bahamas, Hawaii, and Mexico (CABI, 2007). 


Ben-Dov, Y., D. R. Miller, and G. A. P. Gibson. 2010. ScaleNet. http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/SCALENET/scalenet.htm.
CABI. 2007. Crop Protection Compendium. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI), Wallingford, UK.
Sharaf, N. S., and D. E. Meyerdirk. 1987. A Review on the Biology, Ecology, and Control of Nipaecoccus viridis (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) (66). Entomological Society of America, College Park, MD. 1-18 pp.
Stocks, I. C., and G. Hodges. 2010. Pest Alert: Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead), a New Exotic Mealybug in South Florida (Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae) (DACS-P-01678). Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/pest_alerts/nipaecoccus-viridis-pest-alert.html