Other common names:
Within Australia there are two species and colours of ground pearl; pink and white. Pink Adult female ground pearls are 3-5mm long, 2-4 mm wide and look like bright pink or pearly-white mealy bugs without a powdery coat. The immature stages of pink ground pearls form yellowish-brown, leathery capsules in which they live, well protected and encapsulated (Szito et al., 2015).
Ground pearls can be found deep within the soil and can remain dormant for up to 3 years. The adult females have a tendency to migrate within the soil profile to the surface following wet periods. Ground pearl can cause significant turf damage when populations are high particularly if the turf quality and rootzone is less than desirable.
Immature stages and adult females of both species feed on the root systems of turfgrass species which may cause slight to severe wilting damage depending on their populations and the general health of the lawn or field. Ground pearl spread and resultant damage may increase more rapidly with cultivation or mechanical soil aerating (Szito et al., 2015).
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