First reports of Maconellicoccus hirsutus and Phenacoccus peruvianus in Tunisia
In 2014, two mealybugs, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (EPPO A2 List) and Phenacoccus peruvianus (both Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) were observed for the first time in Tunisia.
The first specimens of M. hirsutus were collected during July and August from Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in different localities of Sousse governorate (Akouda, Chott Mariem, Port Kantaoui). Considering the number of attacked plants (e.g. 40 hibiscus plants at Port Kantaoui spread over a 2-4 km² area), it is concluded that the pest is well established.
The situation of Maconellicoccus hirsutus in Tunisia can be described as follows: Present, first found in 2014 in Sousse governorate.
P. peruvianus, the bougainvillea mealybug, is an invasive species which is currently spreading around the Mediterranean Basin. In Tunisia, it was collected on Bougainvillea glabra and Citharexylum quadrangularis in several locations of Sousse governorate (Akouda, Sousse and Port Kantaoui) during summer 2014.
Ben Halima-Kamel M, Germain JF, Mdellel F (2015) First records of two mealybugs, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green) and Phenacoccus peruvianus Granara de Willink, in Tunisia and the North of Africa. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 45(1), 139–143.