Exotic Palmicultor mealybugs in Florida

     Over the last 10 year, three exotic Palmicultor mealybugs have established in Florida: Palmicultor browni (1995), Palmicultor palmorum (1999), and Palmicultor lumpurensis (2002). In the field, the red to brown bodies of these species are covered with a fine, white wax. Due to their body coloration, Palmicultor mealybugs may superficially resemble pink hibiscus mealybug. Specimens must be slide-mounted in order to confirm genus and species-level identification. Palmicultor browni and P. palmorum both infest palms, particularly Veitchia spp. These mealybugs may cause significant dieback in palms. Currently, they are the most commonly collected mealybugs in south Florida palms by FDACS-DPI inspectors. Palmicultor lumpurensis is a pest of bamboo, particularly Arundinaria and Bambusa spp. High populations can result in the abortion of new shoots. More information is available at: http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/enpp/ento/t-lumpurensis.html

Known County Distributions (July 2004):

P. browni: Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Lee

P. palmorum: Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Polk, Flagler

P. lumpurensis: Broward, Lake, Orange, Seminole, Volusia


P. browni P. palmorum

Photos courtesy of FDACS-DPI


     An armored scale, Duplachionaspis divergens, invaded Florida in 2000. It is a pest of various grasses including St. Augustine, sugarcane, Cymbopogon spp., Andropogon spp., Tripsacum spp., and Miscanthus miscanthi. Superficially, the ‘tear-dropped’ shape of this armored scale resembles false oleander scale, Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli. Currently, D. divergens is distributed throughout most of south Florida and some counties in central Florida.

Photo courtesy of FDACS-DPI


This information was kindly provided by:

Dr. Amanda Hodges

University of Florida

Entomology and Nematology Department

Natural Area Drive

PO Box 110620

Gainesville, FL 32611-0620

Dr. Greg Hodges

Taxonomic Entomologist (Coccoidea and Aleyrodidae)


Gainesville, FL 32614-7100


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