Development of a species-level field diagnostic kit for Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), an invasive and regulatory pest in the United States
One of the main limitations in developing a species-level field diagnostic kit for Nipaecoccus viridis is the potential safety hazards associated with KOH. KOH is corrosive and causes damage to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. It remains unknow whether the potassium in the 10% KOH solution or the change in the pH that turned N. viridis hemolymph green. If the change in hemolymph color was caused by the pH and not associated with potassium, then finding a safe alternative to KOH that can change the pH could resolve the situation. Therefore, we tested different solutions, along with KOH, covering the whole pH spectrum to 1) figure out whether it is the potassium in 10% KOH or its pH that turns hemolymph green; 2) explore a relatively safe alternative to 10% KOH in laboratory and field experiments, and 3) develop a species-level field diagnostic kit for N. viridis.