from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Plural form of mealybug.


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  • In recent years, officials have had to contend with Burmese pythons, which prey on native species; Gambian pouched rats, which can grow to the size of a cat and wreak havoc on crops; and pink hibiscus mealybugs, which inject toxic venom into plants.

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  • Their plants were scrawny, and the mealybugs that fed on them tended to be scrawny as well.

    Parasite Rex

  • Even more important, the experiments showed that the wasps could lay eggs only in the cassava mealybugs.

    Parasite Rex

  • A few months after the drops, they began to comb through the fields to see how fast the wasp was spreading and how the mealybugs were faring.

    Parasite Rex

  • Known as cassava mealybugs, they are one of the many plant-eating parasites, tuned to the narrow frequency of their host-plant species.

    Parasite Rex

  • Since they needed cuttings to replant their fields, and none of their cuttings was free of the mealybugs, the farmers lost the crops for years to come.

    Parasite Rex

  • Cassava mealybugs are all female, and a single female can lay eight hundred eggs in its microscopic lifetime.

    Parasite Rex

  • We put mealybugs on one plant, and we released the wasps from a corner of the field.

    Parasite Rex

  • So the plants were really thriving for several hundred years until somebody brought in mealybugs.

    Parasite Rex

  • He sent mealybugs and cassava plants from Africa to the same quarantine, where scientists were able to get the wasp to lay its eggs in them.

    Parasite Rex


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