Effect of Six Host Plant Species on the Life History and Population Growth Parameters of Rastrococcus iceryoides (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

Chrysantus M. Tanga, Sunday Ekesi, P. Govender, Samira A. Mohamed

Abstract


The effect of 6 host plant species [Mangifera indica L., Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh, Coffea arabica L., Cucurbita moschata Duchesne, Parkinsonia aculeata L., and Ficus benjamina Roxb.], on bionomics of the mango mealybug Rastrococcus iceryoides Green (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) was studied in the screenhouse. Biological and life table parameters of the mealybug differed significantly among the host plants. Developmental period (egg to adult) was shortest on M. indica (23.5 days and 25.3 days for females and males, respectively), whereas it was longest on F. benjamina (33.0 days and 37.3 days for females and males, respectively). The egg to adult female survivorship was highest on C. moschata (79.6%) and lowest on C. arabica (30.9%). Fecundity was highest on C. moschata (811.3 egg/female) followed by M. indica (716.8 egg/female). The sex ratio was female-biased on C. moschata, M. indica, C. cajan and P. aculeata. Adult mealybug longevity also varied with host plant for both mated and unmated females. Adult female body length and width were significantly higher on C. moschata, M. indica, C. cajan and P. aculeata than on F. benjamina and C. arabica. The highest intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm), finite rate of increase (λ) and the shortest mean generation time (GT) and doubling time (T d) were recorded on M. indica. The highest and lowest net reproductive rate (Ro) occurred on C. moschata and C. arabica, respectively. The implication of these findings in relation to damage, population growth and management of R. iceryoides on the target crops is discussed.

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