Pseudococcus longispinus

Long-tailed mealybug


Pseudococcus longispinus occurs naturally in tropical and sub-tropical regions, but these days it is widespread throughout the world. The range of host plants of Pseudococcus longispinus is less extensive than that of the citrus mealy bug but it nevertheless encompasses many species of (ornamental) crops (e.g. croton, orchids, grapes, avocado, apple, citrus). The species often inhabits concealed places such as auxiliary buds and prefers a warm, humid environment. 

Life cycle of mealybugs


Life cycle and appearance of long-tailed mealybug

The long-tailed mealy bug is easily recognized by the long, posterior tail filaments, which are at least the length of the body itself. The length of the other filaments is roughly half the width of the body. The female is 3 - 4 mm long.

Reproduction in Pseudococcus longispinus,  may be sexual or asexual, the latter apparently being the more common situation. Unlike most other mealy bugs, Pseudococcus longispinus produces no egg sac. Instead, the female bears live young, depositing already hatched first instars which are at first kept beneath the body in a network of fine waxy threads. Over two or three weeks, a female produces 100-200 nymphs. In the summer, the life cycle takes about six weeks to complete and in the winter about 12 weeks.

How to get rid of long-tailed mealybug