University of California

The control of the citrophilus mealybug, Pseudococcus gahani, by Australian parasites


Harold Compere
Harry S. Smith

Authors Affiliations

Harold Compere was Research Assistant in Entomology in the Experiment Station; Harry S. Smith was Associate Professor of Entomology and Entomologist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 6(17):585-618. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v06n17p585. May 1932.

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The general disappearance of injurious infestations of citrophilus mealybug, Pseudococcus gahani Green, in California, is attributed to the work of Coccophagus gurneyi Compere and Tetracnemus pretiosus Timberlake, two internal parasites introduced into California in 1928 from Sydney, Australia, by the University of California Citrus Experiment Station. Since 1929, after the general establishment of these parasites, the mealybug has been scarcer than at any other time since it became a major pest. This scarcity of mealybugs has been continuous without appreciable annual fluctuations. No damage has been reported in the areas where the parasites have been established for a period of about two years, nor has it been necessary to liberate Cryptolaemus montrousieri Mulsant to prevent the citrophilus mealybug from increasing to injurious numbers.

The saving resulting from the work of Coccophagus and Tetracnemus may be estimated from the saving in Orange County, where more than 40,000 acres of citrus were infested and where surveys show that the parasites have prevented the recurrence of infestations that were estimated to be costing the growers $500,000 to $1,000,000 annually.

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Compere H, Smith H. 1932. The control of the citrophilus mealybug, Pseudococcus gahani, by Australian parasites. Hilgardia 6(17):585-618. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v06n17p585
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