Common name

Papaya mealybug

Field characters

Body elongate oval; somewhat flattened dorsoventally; body yellow; legs light yellow; mealy wax covering body, not thick enough to hide yellow body, without bare areas on dorsum; ovisac ventral only; with 15 to 17 lateral wax filaments, posterior pair of filaments conspicuously longer, filaments anterior of posterior pair small, inconspicuous, posterior pair about 1/8 length of body. Primarily occurring on foliage of host. Oviparous, eggs cream or light yellow. Body turns black in 70% alcohol.

Validation characters

Oral-rim tubular ducts restricted to margin and submargin on dorsum; translucent pores restricted to hind coxa, unusually large and abundant; ventral oral-rim tubular ducts present; ventral multilocular pores absent from lateral areas of abdomen; anal bar present; usually with 18 pairs of cerarii; dorsal setae generally equal to or shorter than conical cerarian setae.


Paracoccus marginatus is unique among species of Paracoccus by having the oral-rim tubular ducts restricted to the body margin and by lacking translucent pores on the hind tibia.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 638 times on a variety of hosts at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, The British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Grenada, Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, Montserrat, Nigeria, The Philippines, Peru, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Taiwan, Thailand, Tortola, The U. S. Virgin Islands, and Vietnam. We also have examined quarantine specimens from Belize (Carica); Domincan Republic (Carica, Persea); Mexico (Carica, Hibiscus); Puerto Rico (Carica); St. Croix (USVI) (Plumeria). ScaleNet lists hosts in 33 plant families, and distribution records include all zoogeographical regions but the Palaearctic. Paracoccus marginatus is commonly taken on papaya and hibiscus from Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands, having recently spread to Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands including Hawaii. Several species of Paracoccus other than P. brunerae (Brain), P. ferrisi Ezzat & McConnell, P. herreni Williams & Granara de Willink, P. interceptus Lit, P. lycopersici Ezzat & McConnell, P. marginatus, P. mexicanus Ezzat & McConnell and P. solani Ezzat & McConnell have been intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry including: P. hamoni Williams and Granara de Willink (Mexico, on Cephalocereus); P. circuliprivis Ezzat and McConnell (Mexico, on Thomsoniella); P. invectus Williams (Thailand and India, on orchids, including Dendrobium); and P. reductus Ferris (Mexico, on Yucca).

Important references

MillerMi2002; WilliaGr1992; Willia2004.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

Click here for a Catalog.