Skip to main content

Lebbeck Mealybug

The Lebbeck mealybug (Nipaecoccus viridis) has been reported in Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties since it’s first occurrence in Palm Beach in 2009. This species has been found on over forty host plants in Florida, including citrus. In June of 2019 an infestation was found on citrus in Highlands County that was characterized by thick white wax on branches and premature fruit drop. In the past, infestation of citrus by N. viridis in South Africa has caused as much as 50% crop loss. In Jordan this pest caused such severe damage that groves were burned to stop the spread of the Lebbeck mealybug. N. viridis has also been reported on many other plants besides citrus, including cotton, ornamentals , and tropical plants.

N. viridis is a small mealybug that ranges in color from black to purple to blue-green. It produces thick, sticky, white or yellow wax. This pest turns black when in 70% ethanol which may be useful for field diagnostics.

For more information, visit the FDACS pest alert page. 

Infestation of N. viridis on Ximenia americana. Photo by Andrew Derksen, USDA-APHIS, Bugwood.org

N. viridis feeding at the base of new growth on Citrus. Photo by Andrew Derksen, USDA-APHIS, Bugwood.org

N. viridis feeding at the base of new growth on Citrus. Photo by Andrew Derksen, USDA-APHIS, Bugwood.org