Taxonomy of Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) Mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) - 1: Identification and Local Distribution of the Predominant Species on Witches’ Broom-Diseased Plants in the Philippines
Ireneo L. Lit, Jr., Cristian C. Lucañas, Joanne A. Langres, Lolita M. Dolores, Ruby Ana P. Laude, and Merdelyn T. Caasi-Lit
Received: July 06, 2023 / Revised: October 16, 2023 / Accepted: October 26, 2023 (
Samples of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) plants infected with witches’ broom disease were gathered from 13 provinces in the Philippines. Mealybugs were observed to occur in nine out of the 13 cumulative samples. The most predominant among several mealybug species observed was identified as Pseudococcus jackbeardsleyi Gimpel and Miller. P. jackbeardsleyi is not yet known to transmit phytoplasma, especially the one causing cassava witches’ broom (CWB). However, its occurrence in almost 70% of the CWB-infected samples provides circumstantial evidence that it may be related to the spread of the pathogen. This formal report of identification is in support of the studies on the possible role of mealybug species on CWB phytoplasma transmission.