New insect pests of South Florida

Adrian G. B. Hunsberger


South Florida has several major ports of entry and one of the busiest airports in the country allowing for a great influx of international trade and tourism. Along with imported commodities and people, insects are frequent hitchhikers, with an average of one new insect species becoming established a month in south Florida. Many of these become either economic or aesthetic pests. The most concerning of these new insects includes: the lobate lac scale (Paratachardina lobata lobata Chamberlin), pink hibiscus mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus Green), Sri Lanka weevil (Myllocerus undatus Marshall), and tabebuia thrips (Holopothrips cf. inquilinus Bournier). All, except for the tabebuia thrips, have a wide host plant range, which includes many commonly grown ornamentals, and pose a significant threat to agricultural crops. In addition, little is known about their biology. Recent findings including possible biological control agents will be discussed.


lobate lac scale; pink hibiscus mealybug; sri lanka weevil; tabebuia thrips

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283