Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida


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Kim SB, Suh S-J. 2023. Predicting the potential distribution in South Korea of two mealybug species (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) intercepted on pineapples in quarantine. Insecta Mundi 1018: 1–8.

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This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial License


Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell) and Dysmicoccus neobrevipes Beardsley are major pests of pine­apples, ornamentals, and vegetable crops in many countries around the world. The potential distribution of these mealybug pests into South Korea remains a prime concern because of their high incidence in intercep­tions screened during inspection. Hence, these species prompted a modelling effort to assess their potential risk of introduction. Potential risk maps were developed for these pests with the CLIMEX model based on occurrence records under environmental data. The potential distribution of these pests in South Korea in the 2020s, 2050s and 2090s is projected based on the RCP 8.5 climate change scenario. Results show that D. brevipes and D. neobrevipes have little potential for invasion in the exterior environment of South Korea due to high cold stress. However, for D. brevipes, three locations in Jejudo were predicted to be marginally suit­able for this pest under future climate factors. In that respect, the results of these model predictions could be used to prepare a risk-based surveying program that improves the probability of detecting early D. brevipes and D. neobrevipes populations.

The introduction of an exotic species to new geographical areas without their natural enemies has often been followed by large outbreaks in their population and subsequent economic damage to plants (CABI 2023a). Mealy­bugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) are plant feeders that have a more-or-less cryptic way of life because of their small size and limited mobility (Kondo and Watson 2022a). They are almost always found associated with plants, and are commonly intercepted on imported plant material (PIS 2023). As a result, they can easily be transported to other areas on the plants on which they live. A total of 114 species have been considered as pests in the world (Kondo and Watson 2022b). As of 2005, some 255 exotic scale insect species had become established in the USA; of these, 53 species were mealybugs (Miller et al. 2005). In South Korea, 91 exotic species have been documented from 1910 to 2019; of these, three species are mealybugs (RDA 2019).

Numerous kinds of insect pests were intercepted during import inspections at South Korean ports of entry. Mealybugs comprised 16.3% of the 198,086 interceptions from 1996 to 2022 (PIS 2023), of which, Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell) (22.9% of the mealybug interceptions) and Dysmicoccus neobrevipes Beardsley (54.3%) were intercepted most frequently (Table 1). The pink pineapple mealybug (PPM), D. brevipes, was described in 1893 from pineapples in Jamaica. Since then, it has become a major pest of pineapples, ornamental plants and vegetable crops in many other countries in the world where it has spread by the international trade of these goods (García Morales et al. 2016). The grey pineapple mealybug (GPM), D. neobrevipes, is probably native to the Australasian region and was first reported in 1959 from Hawaii. Over the last 60 years, this species has been found in 44 coun­tries on a wide variety of host plants (García Morales et al. 2016).