Pseudococcus elisae Borchsenius: Banana Mealybug

California Pest Rating for
Pseudococcus elisae Borchsenius: Banana Mealybug
Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae
Pest Rating:  A

 


PEST RATING PROFILE
Initiating Event:

Pseudococcus elisae is frequently intercepted by CDFA and requires a pest rating proposal to support its pest rating.

History & Status:

BackgroundPseudococcus elisae is a polyphagous Neotropical mealybug that feeds on a variety of cultivated plants, but most often on banana and other Musaceae1.  Known hosts include: Annonaceae: sugar apple (Annona squamosa1); Araceae: Aglaonema spp.1, Dieffenbachia spp.1; Musaceae: Musa spp.1, latundan banana (Musa sapientum1), plantain (Musa paradisiaca1); Rubiaceae: robusta coffee (Coffea canephora1), arabica coffee (Coffea arabica1), Ixora spp.1; Rutaceae: key lime (Citrus aurantifolia1).  Pseudococcus elisae may be transported long distances when infested plants or fresh plant parts are moved.

Worldwide Distribution: Pseudococcus elisae is native to the Neotropical region.  It is established in Mexico3, Guatemala3, Honduras3, Panama3, Colombia3, Ecuador3, Brazil3, Chile3, and Cuba3.  It was confirmed to be established in Hawaii in 19842.

Official Control: Pseudococcus elisae is listed as a harmful organism by Chile, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Paraguay4.

California DistributionPseudococcus elisae has never been found in the environment of California.

California Interceptions:  Between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2014 Pseudococcus elisae was intercepted by CDFA’s high risk programs, border stations, and dog teams 97 times.  Interceptions have occurred on bananas, cut flowers, nursery stock, and other fresh plant parts.

The risk Pseudococcus elisae would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1)  Climate/Host Interaction: Pseudococcus elisae is a tropical species with a host range that includes some plants grown outdoors in the warmer regions of California (e.g. key lime, banana). If the mealybug were to enter the state it would likely be limited to regions where these host plants are available.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

– Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.
– Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.
– High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

 2)  Known Pest Host Range: Pseudococcus elisae is known to feed on 10 species of plants in 5 families.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

– Low (1) has a very limited host range.
– Medium (2) has a moderate host range.
– High (3) has a wide host range.

3)  Pest Dispersal Potential: Mealybugs are capable of rapid reproduction and can be transported long distances when infested plants or fresh plant parts are moved.  They may also disperse locally by crawling, wind, or by hitchhiking on clothing, equipment, or animals.  Pseudococcus elisae receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

– Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.
– Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.
– High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4)  Economic Impact: Pseudococcus elisae may lower the value of nursery stock by disfiguring plants with its presence.  Several of California’s trading partners consider the mealybug a harmful organism.  It is possible that Pseudococcus elisae could disrupt markets for nursery stock and fresh fruit.  The mealybug receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.
B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).
C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).
D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.
E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.
F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.
G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agri5)  cultural uses.

– Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.
– Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.
– High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5)  Environmental Impact: Pseudococcus elisae is not expected to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem processes.  It is not expected to directly affect threatened or endangered species or disrupt critical habitats.  It may trigger new treatment programs in the nursery industry and by residents who find infested plants unsightly.  It is not expected to significantly impact cultural practices, home/urban gardening, or ornamental plantings.  Pseudococcus elisae receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.
B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.
C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.
D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.
E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

– Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.
– Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.
– High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Pseudococcus elisae:  Medium (11)

Add up the total score and include it here.

– Low = 5-8 points
– Medium = 9-12 points
– High = 13-15 points

6)  Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Pseudococcus elisae has never been found in the environment of California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

– Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.
– Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).
– Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.
– High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Medium (11)

Uncertainty:

It is possible that the host range of Pseudococcus elisae could be greater than is presently known.  It is also possible that most of the climate of California could be unsuitable for establishment of the species.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Pseudococcus elisae has never been found in California.  If it were to enter the state significant economic impacts could be expected on the nursery and fruit industries.  An “A” rating is justified.

 References:

1 Miller, Dug, Yair Ben-Dov, Gary Gibson, and Nate Hardy.  ScaleNet.  http://scalenet.info/validname/Pseudococcus/elisae/

2 Beardsley, John W. 1986. Taxonomic Notes on Pseudococcus elisae Borchsenius, a Mealybug New to the Hawaiian Fauna (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Journal Series no. 2942 of the Hawaii Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resource. 26(1): 31-34.  https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/11188/26_31-34.pdf?sequence=1

3 CABI Invasive Species Compendium: Pseudococcus elisae (banana mealybug). http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/45085

4 USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).  https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period:  CLOSED

The 45-day comment period opened on Tuesday,  April 7, 2015 and closed on May 22, 2015.


Pest Rating:  A


Posted by ls