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8 October 2021 Pre-oviposition Period and Immature Development of Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on Cucurbita moschata ‘Black Futsu’ Squash
Danielle R. Ruais, Fatemeh Ganjisaffar, Thomas M. Perring
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The developmental time of pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), immatures was investigated on the host plant Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Poiret variety ‘Black Futsu.’ Because host plant species influences developmental rates of M. hirsutus, understanding the life history of this specific host plant has implications for the mass rearing protocols of its natural enemy, Anagyrus callidusTriapitsyn, Andreason and Perring, currently being released in California, United States. Fruit from ‘Black Futsu’ squash were infested with first instar pink hibiscus mealybug and kept at 26.6 ± 2°C, 50 ± 10% RH, and 0:24 (L:D) h photoperiod for the duration of the experiment. Every 24 h the life stages of pink hibiscus mealybug individuals on the squash were recorded. After adult eclosion, observations of adult females continued until the first eggs hatched, which revealed an average pre-oviposition period of 7.2 ± 0.1 d and an average length of the egg stage of 7.0 ± 0.0 d. The average developmental times for both sexes were similar from the egg stage through the second instar.Third instar females took nearly twice as long (7.2 d) to develop into adults as did third instar males. However, females have just three immature instars while males have four.The males spent an average of 4.5 ± 0.3 d as third instars and 4.8 ± 0.4 d as fourth instars before developing into winged adults. On average, female immature developmental time was 27.8 ± 0.2 d from egg to adult and male developmental time was 29.4 ± 0.2 d from egg to adult.The implications of these results on rearing A. callidus are discussed.

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Danielle R. Ruais, Fatemeh Ganjisaffar, and Thomas M. Perring "Pre-oviposition Period and Immature Development of Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on Cucurbita moschata ‘Black Futsu’ Squash," Environmental Entomology 50(6), 1432-1437, (8 October 2021).
Received: 24 March 2021; Accepted: 23 August 2021; Published: 8 October 2021

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biological control
host-plant interaction
insect rearing
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