Mango Mealybug, Rastrococcus invadens Williams (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)
This is one of many insects that came to the attention of science only after it had been inadvertently transported and established on a new continent, where it became an important pest. To date, most field data concerning this species are therefore from West Africa. In the 1980s, mealybug infestations suddenly devastated mango, but also many ornamental and shade trees, around Lomé, Togo, and Cotonou, Bénin. From there, this new plague rapidly spread along the coast, west to Ghana and Côte d’ Ivoire and east to Nigeria. At the turn of the millennium, it had invaded most of West and Central Africa (from Senegal to R. D. Congo). In Benin, for instance, it was observed most often in and around large cities, being less abundant in commercial orchards and even less so on local mango varieties in farmers’ fields.
In 1986, it was described as Rastrococcus invadensWilliams (Hemiptera: Pseudoccocidae) from India, where several cryptic species of Rastrococcus infest mango, a native of this sub-...
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