Specimens of Metamasius hemipterus (L.) were collected from a nursery in coastal Mississippi during invasive insect pest monitoring by the Mississippi State University Invasive Insect Trapping Team. Specimens were collected during a USDA CAPS palm commodity survey occurring at nurseries and natural areas across the southern half of the state. Within the United States, Metamasius hemipterus is recognized as a pest of sugarcanes, bananas, and palms in Florida. It is also a pest in a variety of economically important fruits in its native range in the Antilles, Central, and South America. It has been implicated as a minor vector of red ring disease in palm, caused by the nematode Bursaphelenchus cocophilus (Cobb). This exotic insect poses a threat to the horticulture industry in Mississippi by vectoring pathogens injurious to palms and damaging other horticultural products.
red ring disease