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The Citrus Mealybug

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Eggs are deposited as white, cottony masses, called ovisacs, on the trunk and stems of citrus plants, giving the appearance of cotton spread on the plant . The glossy, light yellow eggs are oval and approximately 0.3 mm long. A female can lay from 300 to 600 eggs in her lifetime, which are deposited in groups of five to 20. Depending on the season, egg hatch may occur after six to 10 days or several weeks. Female lay an average of 29 eggs per day.

Immatures: Nymphs emerge from the ovisacs and typically settle along midribs and veins on the underside of leaves, young twigs, and fruit buttons. They can also be found where two fruits are touching each other or on leaves clinging to fruits. Due to their habit of hiding in crevices, light infestations are easily overlooked. Wax and honeydew secreted by crawlers are visible indicators of infestations. First instar female and male nymphs are called crawler.

Adults: Adult size ranges in length from 3 mm (females) to 4.5 mm (males). The females are wingless, white to light brown in color, with brown legs and antennae . The body of adult females is coated with white wax and bears a characteristic faint gray stripe along their dorsal side. Short waxy filaments can be seen around the margins of their oval body with a slightly longer pair of filaments present at the rear end of their body.

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