IMPORTANT ORNAMENTAL HOST PLANTS FOR MEALYBUGS (COCCOMORPHA: PSEUDOCOCCIDAE) IN GREENHOUSES PUBLISHEDCristina Elena MAROCICO, Andreea Sorina SAMAN, Codruța CHIȘ, Ioana GROZEA, Ana – Maria VÎRTEIU Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara email@example.com
Mealybugs (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Pseudococcidae) include economically important insect pests, especially for woody and herbaceous ornamental plants. These species of insects cause direct damage to ornamental plants when insert their mouthparts like needles into host and sap plants; but also indirectly by transmitting plant viruses. During the last twenty years, several pseudococcidae mealybugs species have been established in western Romania after introduction as a result of international trade. This family compries world – wide a 2032 species belonging to 258 genera. The aim of this paper is to highlight the main pest species to ornamental plant in terms of taxonomic hierarchy, morphological characteristics, geographical distribution, quantitative ratio and preferred host plants. The paper is mainly based on sampled taken by the authors, useing direct observation method, from a private greenhouses, located in Timisoara. Specimens of mealybugs were collected during 2020 – 2021 from the aerial parts of different ornamental plant species. The specimens and parts of the infestated plants were collected and placed in labeled plastic bags. Biological material was identified at species level; after this operation the specimen were preserved in 70% alcohol. Each specimen was labeled by the recorded information of host plant and collecting date. This study highlighted the presence of three mealybug species infesting various ornamental host plants in western Romania greenhouses. Pseudococcus longispinus is the only species that can be regarded as native. Planococcus citri and Planococcus ficus are introduced species, established on indoor ornamental plants. The host plants preferred by these species, in relation to the number of specimens, were: Olea europaea; Cycas revoluta and Ficus benjamina.
ornamental host plants, Pseudococcus longispinus, Planococcus citri, Planococcus ficus, greenhouses