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Institut Sophia Agrobiotech

UMR INRA - Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis - Cnrs

Recent advances in the biocontrol of mealybugs in France

Recent advances in the biocontrol of mealybugs in France (RDLB Team)

Mealybugs (Hemiptera : Pseudococcidae) encompass numerous agricultural pests, some being identified as « serial invaders »*. Biocontrol control programmes against these threats are developed worldwide. Such operations have to take into account not only the identification of efficient biocontrol agent but also to integrate molecular tools to be able to disentangle possible cryptic taxa**. Four papers were recently published within this frame. For example, 17 species of Pseudococcidae were identified during a survey in France and Egypt. Such a diversity reinforces the need to diversify the pool of biocontrol agents in general and of specialist parasitoids (eg.E. sipylusagainstH. bohemicus) in particular.                                                                

*serial invaders: species successively invading different continents/countries from their initial native area

**set of species whose morphological discrimination is tedious or impossible due to the absence of discriminating characters



Female mealybugs (Pseudococcus comstocki)

Female mealybugs (Pseudococcus comstocki)

  • Abd-Rabou S, Shalaby H, Germain JF, Ris N, Kreiter P, Malausa T. 2012. Identification of mealybug pest species (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Egypt and France, using a DNA barcoding approach. Bulletin of Entomological Research102: 515-23.


  • Fleisch A, Perez L, Kreiter P, Odor AV, Sentenac G. 2011. Biological characteristics ofHeliococcus bohemicusandEricydnus sipylusin controlled conditions.IOBC/WPRS Bulletin67: 223-32.
  • Malausa T, Fenis A, Warot S, Germain JF, Ris N, Prado E, Botton M, Vanlerberghe-Masutti F, Sforza R, Cruaud A, Couloux A, Kreiter P. 2011. DNA markers to disentangle complexes of cryptic taxa in mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae).Journal of Applied Entomology135: 142-55.
  • Sentenac G, Kuntzmann P, Perez L, Gili A, Kreiter P. 2011. Biological control ofHeliococcus bohemicusSulc. (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) with the natural enemyEricydnus sipylus(Walker) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae).IOBC/WPRS Bulletin67: 31-40.