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Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) has been the current topic of research for insect taxonomists and applied entomologists in India due to its invasiveness, rapid spread, morphological and biological variations and the need for establishing an effective control strategy. The biology of the mealybug P. solenopsis was studied on cotton under laboratory conditions between August and October of 2009 with mean temperature and relative humidity of 23.3–30.2°C and 40.5–92.5% RH, respectively, in central India. Neonate crawlers that emerged from a field population were collected and constituted the study population. The developmental period from immature crawler to adult stage was greater for males (18.7 ± 0.9 days) compared to females (13.2 ± 1.8 days), probably due to the additional molt to the pupal stage in males. Survival of second instars was lower (45.5%) than first and third instars (71.4%). Females showed dynamic patterns of fecundity with the number of crawlers produced per female ranging between 128 and 812, with a mean of 344 ± 82. The reproductive period lasted 30.2 ± 8.2 days. Parthenogenesis with ovoviviparity (96.5%) was dominant over the oviparous (3.5%) mode of reproduction. Adult females lived 42.4 ± 5.7 days. Males accounted for less than 5% of the population, and lived 1.5 ± 0.1 days. The life history parameters of P. solenopsis adult females are discussed relative to the appearance of symptoms on the cotton crop, and the importance of making management interventions during the effective reproductive period of the insect.