Phenacoccus manihoti is a scale insect species.
In the early 1970s, Phenacoccus manihoti was accidentally introduced to Africa. Within 15 years of its discovery, it had invaded most of West and Central Africa and was spreading to the East. It soon became an important pest, and methods to control it became a topic of interest.
- Description 1
- Sensory structures 2
- Damage 3
- Control 4
- References 5
Phenacoccus manihoti is a type of mealybug. It is commonly called the cassava mealybug because it feeds on cassava. It is an oligophagous insect that demonstrates an aphid-like phloem feeding behavior. P. manihoti reproduces by thelytokous parthenogenesis and goes through four in-star larval forms which have differing numbers of antennal segments. Mealybugs are noted for the production of dermal wax secretions. The body is covered with wax producing pores which have been well studied but the function of wax to particular species is based on speculation. Predictions about the function of dermal wax in the cassava mealybug suggest it is to prevent desiccation and to deter predators. The longer coils of wax secreted would be bitten first by a predator and give the cassava mealybug a chance to escape. Females have the highest fecundity on the first or second day of oviposition. The optimal temperature for populations of the cassava mealybug is between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. The cassava mealybug has poor survivability during rainy season because it gets washed off the plant and drowns.
The cassava mealybug has similar host plant detection behavior to
- Neuenschwander, P., et al,. 1990. Biological Control of the cassava mealybug Phenacoccus Manihoti (Hom., Pseudococcidae) by Epidinocarsis lopezi (Hym., Encyrtidae) in West Africa, as influence by climate and soil. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 32: 39 – 55
- Hennessey, R. D, et al,. 1990. Spread and current distribution of the cassava mealybug, Phenacoccus manihoti (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), in Zaire. Tropical Pest Management. 36: 103 – 107.
- Calatayud, P. A. 2000. Influence of linamarin and rutin on biological performances of Phenacoccus Manihoti in artificial diets. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 96: 81 – 86.
- Le Ru, B., et al,. 1995. Antennal sensilla and their possible functions in the host-plant selection behavior of Phenacoccus manihoti (Matile-Ferrero) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). International Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology. 24: 375 – 389.
- Cox, J. M. & Pearce M. J. 1983. Wax produced by dermal pores in three species of mealybug (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). International Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology. 12: 235 – 248.
- Lema, K. M. & Herren, H. R. 1985. The influence of constant temperature on population growth rates of the cassava mealybug, Phenacoccus manihoti. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 38: 165 – 169.
- Iheagwam, E. U. & Eluwa, M. C. 1983. The effects of temperature on the immature stages of the Cassava Mealybug, Phenacoccus Manihoti Mat-Ferr. (Homoptera, Pseudococcidae). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift. 30: 17 – 22.
- Renard, S., et al,. 1997. Recognition Behavior of the Cassava Mealybug Phenacoccus Manihoti Matile-Ferrero (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) at the Leaf Surface of Different Host Plants. Journal of Insect Behavior. 11: 429 – 450.
- James, B. D. & Fofanah, M. 1992. Population growth patterns for Phenacoccus Manihoti Mat-Ferr on cassava in Sierra Leone. Tropical Pest Management. 38: 89 – 92.
- Le Ru, B., et al,. 1995. Ultrastructure of sensory receptors on the labium of the cassava mealybug, Phenacoccus manihoti Matile Ferrero. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 77: 31 – 36.
- Atu, U. G. & Okeke, J.E,. 1981. Evaluation of insecticides for control of cassava mealybug (Phenacoccus manihoti). Tropical Pest Management. 27: 251- 253.
- Chakupurakal, J., et al,. 1994. Biological Control of the Cassava Mealybug , Phenacoccus Manihoti (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), in Zambia. Biological Control. 4: 254 – 262.
Pesticides were used as an initial response to the cassava mealybug problem. Many different kinds were used and studied and they did seem to be effective, but they were costly. The most effective pesticide tested was methidathion; in trials it had a knockdown effect of 45 percent and the infested cassava showed significant recovery. The use of a parasitoid E.lopezi proved to be a great success story in the biological control of the cassava mealybug. The parasitoid attacks the second and third instar stages of the cassava mealybug. Within a few years of its release it covered the entire country, and within five years there were no high concentrations of the cassava mealybug present. The successful elimination of the cassava mealybug increased farmer's cassava yields and livelihoods.
The cassava mealybug can destroy up to 54% of roots and 100% of leaves in locations of infestation. When it infests cassava it deteriorates the tissue mineral and nutrient contents. If the plant becomes stressed during dry season it is even more susceptible to infestation.