During the post-rainy season (October-March) 2009–10, mealybugs were found on young apical parts and undersides of mature leaves of Withania sommfera (L.) Dunal (Ashwagandha) in the Amritsar region of Punjab Province. They appeared waxy and cottony-white either in clusters or solitary, and moved very little. Host leaves were sometimes deformed and shed prematurely. The mealybugs were identified as Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Tinsley, 1898), (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Ants were associated with the mealybug infestation. This is apparently the first record of P. solenopsis infesting Ashwagandha in India.
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Vol. 123 • No. 1