Asfaq, M., Akhtar, S., Akhtar, S., & Masoodi, M.A. 2017 PCR-Based Detection of a Hyperparasitoid in Cotton Mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Pakistan Journal of Zoology 49(4): 1-4


  • biological control
  • Notes: PCR protocol was developed to detect hyperparasitism in cotton mealybug. Cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is an invasive and major pest on cotton. Aenasius bambawalei (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) is an effective parasitoid of mealybug and has been the backbone of the biological control program of cotton mealybug in Pakistan, but its multiplication for inundative releases has been impacted by a hyperparasitoid, Promuscidea unfasciativentris Girault (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae: Eriaporinae). Traditionally the detection of hyperparasitoid is done by host-rearing, but that is time-consuming when working with field populations at larger scale. The current study used morphology and DNA sequences from mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase I) and nuclear (internal transcribed spacer I) genes to identify the hyperparasitoid Promuscidea unfasciativentris. The successful PCR-based detection of hyperparasitism is promising for designing strategies for the biological control program of cotton mealybug.