First record of rugose spiraling whitefly, Aleurodicus rugioperculatus Martin(Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) an invasive pest in AssamPantnagar Journal of Research, Volume - 17, Issue - 2 ( May-August, 2019)
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Rugose spiraling whitefly (RSW),Aleurodicus rugioperculatusMartin (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) was observed in several coconut farms in the Pollachi, Tamil Nadu and Palakkad, Kerala in 2016 and subsequently, the incidence and infestation of the RSW was recorded on many other horticultural crops. The origin of RSW was first described from Belize in Central America in 2004. It was first documented as a pest in Florida in urban landscapes in Miami Dade County in March 2009. In Assam, the pest was first noticed in June- July, 2018 in different areas of Kamrup, Nalbari and Darrang districts. First diagnostic visit was made jointly by officials from Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Assam and Scientist from Assam Agricultural University in few villages of Kamrup district on 25 July 2018. The pest was identified with the help of damage symptom, and by consulting different literature and photographs. Heavy infestation of rugose spiraling whitefly and secondary infection of sooty mould were noticed in coconut palms as well as other horticultural crops nearby coconut palms. Almost all the leaves of coconut, banana and other horticultural plants nearby were brownish-black in appearance due to severe growth of sooty mould. In Kamalpur and Balisatra agricultural development circles of Kamrup district 4281 numbers of family were affected by this pest covering more than 450 ha of land. The pest seems to have entered in Assam accidentally through movement of coconut seedling from South India. The deficit monsoon along with prolonged drought could be one of the primary reasons of immediate upsurge of spiraling whitefly during 2018. Emergence of sucking pest as a victim of climate change, thus, warrants close scrutiny.
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