Quantitative feeding behaviors were analyzed by electronic penetration graph technique to evaluate the resources utilization efficiency of the solenopsis mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), transferred to a novel host. Both nonphloem and phloem factors were contributed to the host availability during host shift; while only “prephloem” factor was involved with their offspring’s fitness to the transferred host, on which they fed as effectively as their mothers did on the origin host. Different performances on different hosts were supposed to have relations with the diverse phloem components, rather than feeding behaviors. P. solenopsis could try and exploit an efficient stylet pathway to reach the phloem, which would be an importance factor to account for the expansion of the host range and adaptations to different hosts. High efficient feeding behaviors of P. solenopsis in the current study manifested its capability of resource utilization to the novel host, which was suggested to be advantageous for its host shift, and to be the explanation for rapid host shifts associated with its broad host range and quick settlement.
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Vol. 107 • No. 4