Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida


Date of this Version



Deeter LA, Ahmed MZ. 2023. The records of Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) deposited in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. Insecta Mundi 0995: 1–8.


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We studied the slides of Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) deposited in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods and provided specimen label data, including geographical location, global positioning system coordinates when available, host plant, collector name, adult females/immature stages, sex of specimens on respective slides, number of slides, and collection date. In addition, we discuss its first record from Florida ornamental landscape and two most recent new host records of the spe­cies on commercial crops, including blueberries and hemp. These data will help regulatory agencies slow the spread of this pest inside and outside of Florida.

Hibiscus or lebbeck mealybug, Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), is a pest of limited distribution in Florida found on citrus and other commercial crops (Ahmed et al. 2019; Diepenbrock and Ahmed 2020; Olabiyi et al. 2023). It is widespread in at least 60 countries on four continents, including Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America (García Morales et al. 2016). It was reported for the first time in North America from Florida in late 2009 from a natural area on dodder vine, Cuscuta exaltata Engelm. (Sonales: Convolvulaceae), in Palm Beach County, Florida (Stocks and Hodges 2010). However, it was not until 2019 that outbreaks were found on commercial citrus for the first time in the USA, at a grove in Highlands County, Florida (Ahmed et al. 2019). Recently, this pest was discovered in a hemp production greenhouse and in an organic U-pick blueberry farm (FDACS-DPI Database, 2021).

To better understand the history and pest potential of this mealybug, we reexamined the holdings of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (FSCA) slide collection, Gainesville, Florida, and collated specimen-level data from the slide labels. During our reexamination, we found a slide containing a single specimen of N. viridis collected in 1987 in Cedar Key, Florida, on Portulaca oleracea L. (Caryophyllales: Portulacaceae) that was deter­mined as Nipaecoccus sp. This record coincides with the global invasions of N. viridis across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East (Sharaf and Meyerdirk 1987). There were no subsequent reports of the species in Florida for almost two and a half decades since this collection (Stocks and Hodges 2010).