A pheromone-based system to locate and monitor Planococcus minor (Maskell), a pest of over 250 plants including citrus, grape, and cacao, was tested. The difficulty in distinguishing P. minor from the citrus mealybug, P. citri, makes finding and evaluating the impact of the pest challenging. Studies conducted in Puerto Rico determined that synthetic P. minor pheromone lures preaged 120 d in the field caught similar number of males as lures not aged (fresh). Molecular analysis of trapped mealybug males using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase-1, the internal transcriber space two locus, and 28S-D2 gene showed the pheromone traps to be species specific. Traps baited with P. minor pheromone were used to monitor the pest in south Florida and to locate potential infestations. P. minor males were found at all locations studied in South Florida and were present in low numbers (1.03 ± 0.69 mean ± SE/trap/14 d). Over 14,000 terminals, fruit, and flowers were visually inspected over a 6 mo period of peak trap catches before the first adult P. minor female was found. The synthetic pheromone lures proved to be an effective tool to locate and monitor this pest new to the continental United States.
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