NATURAL ENEMIES OF TWO MAJOR SPECIES OF SCALE INSECTS INFESTING BLACK PEPPER (Piper nigrum L.) IN INDIA
Among the insect pests of black pepper (Piper nigrmn L.) in India, scale insects and mealybugs cause considerable damage to the crop (Devasahayam er al., 1988). Twenty three genera/species of scale insects and mealybugs have been recorded on the crop in India among which the mussel scale, Lepidosaphes piperis Gr. and the coconut scale, Aspilliotus destrucfor Sign. (Homoptera : Diaspididae) cause appreciable damage especially at higher altitudes (Abdulla Koya et aI., 1996). Severe infestations of these pests lead to yellowing and wilting of leaves, drying of lateral branches and mortality of younger vines. The pest infestation is severe during postanonsoon and summer periods.
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