Planococcus minor (Maskell)
Significance: On April 18, 2006 the PAS posted an alert about the detection of the passionvine mealybug, Planococcus minor, in a California greenhouse. On May 15, 2006 the USDA’s Systematic Entomology Laboratory reported that molecular diagnostic work on the initial California greenhouse sample and subsequent suspect samples from the surrounding areas all came back as Planococcus citri.
Issues of Concern: This misdiagnosis is a testament to the close morphological similarities these pests share. The USDA’s Center for Plant Health Science and Technology will work on identifying and refining the morphological differentiation of P. citri and P. minor.
Comments: The original PAS alert about the detection in CA has been deleted but a PDF copy of the original news source is available below.
USDA’s Systematic Entomology Laboratory. http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/site_main.htm?modecode=12-75-41-00
San Luis Obispo Tribune. 14 April 2006. Discovery of rare pest shuts down Cal Poly greenhouses. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/14345237.htm For more information about hosts and the distribution of P. minor go to the Systematic Entomology Laboratory’s Scalenet website at: http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/catalogs/pseudoco/Planococcusminor.htm PAS Archived News Story (2002): http://www.pestalert.org/viewArchNewsStory.cfm?nid=185
Related Documents: Passion vine mealy bug.pdf