Hemba, M., Mulatu, B., & Lemma, H. 2012 Cotton Mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae): a Newly Introduced Pest Threatening Cotton Production in Ethiopia. Pest Management Journal of Ethiopia 16:60-67

Notes: Following the interception of a mealybug by crop protection staff of the Werer Agricultural Research Center and the Amibara Agricultural Enterprise on cotton, survey was made to determine the identity, distribution, incidence and severity of damage on cotton by this new pest in cotton growing areas of Ethiopia. Through the surveys, the pest was intercepted in the cotton fields of Awash River basin, Southern Ethiopia, Gambella, and Humera areas but with varying degrees of incidence and severity and the most affected was cotton in the Awash River basin. The mealybug was identified as Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), which is commonly known as cotton mealybug and represented a newly recorded pest of cotton in Ethiopia. This pest causes quantitative yield loss through direct feeding. It also releases a large quantity of honeydew onto the plant surface resulting in reduced photosynthetic activity and significant lint quality degradation. In addition to cotton, the pest infested many field crops and a number of weed plants growing within or around cotton fields. Although the how and when of the introduction of the pest has not been fully determined, its means of movement to other areas within the country were determined through discussions made during the survey work. There are four possible causes of cotton mealybug introduction to new places and include movement of farm machineries, laborers and jut bugs. Although the pest is new to the country, significant number of predatory coccinelides (larvae and adults) and larvae of green lacewing were found actively preying on the cotton mealybug in most of the infested cotton fields mainly after cotton is picked.