Mass culturing of vine mealybug for application in IPM
Achiano, K A
Objectives and Rationale
To supply mealybugs which are not resistant to chemicals or bio-pesticides needed for various research projects through mass rearing. To serve as a benchmark for future work on resistance in mealybug.
Netlon® nylon vegetable bag tubing was used to make up a butternut ‘sausage’, with two knots between each butternut. Each ‘sausage’ tubing had four butternuts which were held on rails to facilitate easy movement of mealybug crawlers. They were kept at an ambient humidity and a constant temperature of 26 °C.
Non-resistance mealybugs were reared and maintained at Nietvoorbij insectary and provided to researchers on request.
Key Conclusion of Discussion
The mealybug rearing facility at ARC Nietvoorbij campus had been in existence for over 20 years. It is unique in the sense that it was the only facility from which non-resistant mealybug could always be obtained to serve as a point of reference for researchers, institutions and individuals.
Take Home message for Industry
It is rather unfortunate that the industry has decided to terminate this project as mealybugs of specific species like P. ficus, which by its existence is deprived of both horizontal and vertical resistance, is a gem that should not be lost to the industry.