Planococcus ficus

Vine mealybug


The vine mealybug Planococcus ficus belongs to the family Pseudococcidae, and is also known by the names Mediterranean vine mealybug and Grapevine mealybug. As the name indicates, this mealybug is mostly found on grapevines, but also on figs and pomegranates.

Life cycle and appearance of Vine mealybug

The Mediterranean vine mealybug (Planoccoccus ficus) develops through 7 stages: egg, first, second and third instar nymph, prepupa, pupa and adult. The eggs are golden-yellow in color and are deposited in an cottony egg sac (ovisac) containing from 300-500 eggs.

The nymphs are very similar to the adult female, even if they are smaller. The prepupa and pupa stages are present only in the male. After a complete metamorphosis, a winged male emerges from the pupa. The male is smaller (1 mm), dark orange in color with long tail filaments and transparent wings and has no mouthparts. The female is larger (3 mm) and voluminous, has an elongated oval shape and has no wings. The body is covered with a fine waxy material and have 18 pairs of wax rods round the edge of the body, and two slightly longer 'tail filaments' that project at the posterior end. There is often a darker longitudinal stripe running over the body.