PINK HIBISCUS MEALYBUG MANAGEMENT
Updated January 11, 2005
Prepared by Lance S. Osborne, Ph.D., Professor of Entomology, University of Florida, IFAS, MREC-
Apopka (407)884-2034 ext. 163 email@example.com
The Pink hibiscus mealybug or PHM is a pest that
has devastated agriculture in many parts of the
world. If left uncontrolled, it will kill plants and
even trees. Eradication is impossible! Our
management options include the use of chemical
and biological controls.
Pink Hibiscus. Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green),
The female Pink hibiscus mealybug (PHM) has no
wings and is covered with a very light dusting of
white wax. A young crawlers and adult females are
pink in color and the mature female is much darker
pink to mahogany in color. Females are oval in
shape (ca. 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide). Males are
winged and have two long waxy tails and fly.
There is no waxy fringe that protrudes from the
sides of the body as seen in many other mealybug
species. The male is small but with its wings and
tail filaments, it appears to be 4.5 mm long. The
male does not feed. The mated female lays
anywhere from 84 to 654 oblong, pink eggs in a
dense, fluffy, white ovisac. The crawler is oval and
pink. Female nymphs are just miniature versions of
the larger adult females. Male nymphs are narrower
and often occur in a cocoon.
The male has four instars of 6.60 ± 0.5, 6.51 ± 0.51,
1.0 and 5.59 ± 0.69 days each. At the end of the
second instar the male produces a cottony cocoon.
The female has three instars of 6.71 ± 0.47, 6.55 ±
0.52, and 7.9 ± 0.79 days each.
PHM is probably native to southern Asia but it has
now spread throughout much of the world. They
have been collected more than 200 genera of plants
in 70 different families including many that are
economically important. The citrus mealybug has
been recognized as a pest of citrus and ornamental
plants in Europe since 1813 (where it is called the
greenhouse mealybug) and in the Unit