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Reproductive Mode and Male Mating Characteristic of Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

Reproductive Mode and Male Mating Characteristic of Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

Muhammad S. Waqas, Ali A.Z. Shoaib, Xinlai Cheng, Qianqian Zhang, Asem S.S. Elabasy and Zu-hua Shi*

Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Crop Pathogens and Insects, Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, China

*      Corresponding author:



The cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), is an invasive, polyphagous pest species. Reproductive biology of this mealybug species is poorly known, which hinders the development of an effective management program. In this study, the reproductive mode, male’s mating capacity, influence of female’s age and density on male’s mating capacity, as well as the influence of copulation on female’s longevity were investigated under the laboratory condition. Our results demonstrated that P. solenopsis reproduce sexually. Males mated 1-2 times in one day and 3-6 times in their lifetime, and did not show mating preference for female age or density. Although a few unmated females produced ovisacs, while they neither produced eggs nor gave birth any crawlers in the ovisacs. Unmated females lived for longer durations than the mated ones. Sexual reproduction with short lived males may imply potential for control practices that target males; for example, application of sex pheromone for trapping and killing male, or spraying of chemicals during the time of male activity, may be an effective practice for the management of this pest.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 51, Iss. 4, Pages 1203-1598


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