Paralecanium comperei Hodgson

Chris J. Hodgson & Douglas J. Williams, 2018, Revision of the soft scale genus Paralecanium (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Coccidae) with the introduction of three new genera and twenty new species, Zootaxa 4443 (1), pp. 1-162: 88-90

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4443.1.1

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scientific name

Paralecanium comperei Hodgson

spec. n.

Paralecanium comperei Hodgson   spec. n.

( Fig. 35 View FIGURE 35 )

Material examined. Holotype f: AUSTRALIA: left label: Paralecanium   / frenchii var. macrozam   / iae / on Banksia   / West Australia / Geo. Compere coll. / let. March 28, 1911 / Comp. coll. # Comp. 133; right label: Paralecanium   / comperei   / Hodgson / holotype (USNM): 1/1adf (f-p, quite heavily sclerotised but most details visible; most legs missing). Paratype f: Australia: left label: Paralecanium   / n. sp./ Australia / George Compere, coll. / Compere #154; right label: Paralecanium   / comperei   / Hodgson / paratype (USNM): 1/1adf (f-p, missing venter).

Note. The description is based on both specimens.

Slide-mounted adult female. Body oval, rather pointed anteriorly, more rounded posteriorly. Length 3.75 mm, width 2.65 mm.

Dorsum. Derm fairly uniformly sclerotised, submarginally with quite large areolations, each with minute pale spots; most of rest of derm with abundant, slightly larger pale spots; dorsal mid-line darker but structure obscure; with a series of darker, more or less round areas approximately in three pairs of longitudinal lines, each delineating centre of a polygonal area, with perhaps 11 in each submedial and each submarginal line and 5 in each median line. Marginal radial lines dark, with 10 or 11 on head between anterior stigmatic clefts, a short line from each cleft, each side with 3 between clefts and 10 or 11 on abdomen. Abdominal clear areas absent. Dorsal setae each elongate, slightly curved with a blunt apex, longer than on most other Paralecanium   species, each 30–33 µm long, most frequent in a submarginal band and submedially; absent medially. Dorsal pores of 2 sizes: (i) large pores, each about 3 µm wide in a clear area of derm, forming a rather distinct polygonal pattern throughout, and (ii) microducts, each about 1.5 µm wide in a clear area of derm, perhaps with a small inner ductule; abundant in a distinctly polygonal pattern over entire dorsum. Anal plates together elongate, each with a slightly rounded outer margin and probably with minute setae on posterior margin near apex; also with 2 or 3 some small pores medially; length of plates 165–175 µm, combined width 95–111 µm. With 2 pairs of setae on anterior margin of anogenital fold; lateral margins unclear but perhaps with 1 seta anteriorly and another medially on each margin.

Margin. Margin smooth, without ornamentation. Marginal setae appearing similar to a closed fan, most with faint radial lines and each seta constricted basally by an invaginated basal socket, typical of Paralecanium   species; width of each fan 3–8 µm, length 15–27 µm; with about 75 setae anteriorly between anterior stigmatic clefts, each side with 24–30 setae between stigmatic clefts, and 57–70 setae along abdominal margin. Stigmatic clefts quite deep, each with a sclerotised inner margin and 3 slightly clavate stigmatic spines; median spine much the longest, 55–70 µm long, each lateral spine 26–28 µm long. Anal cleft possibly fused along entire length. Eyespots each more or less round, diameter of lens 15–18 µm.

Venter. Ventral marginal band about 145–190 µm wide with radial “finger-like” markings. Multilocular discpores frequent on either side of genital opening and on preceding segment only; number in each segment unclear but perhaps 15 in segment VII and 20 in segment VI. Spiracular disc-pores present in a narrow band between margin and each spiracle, but all bands either damaged or not entirely visible. Ventral microducts not detected. Ventral setae: with 2 pairs of interantennal setae; longer setae probably present on 3 pregenital segments; otherwise setae scarce. Antennae well developed, each with 6 segments; total length 290 µm; apical segment about 60 µm long; setal distribution normal for Coccidae   with well-developed antennae. Clypeolabral shield about 130 µm long. Spiracles small, width of each peritreme 25–27 µm. Legs well-developed; dimensions of hind leg (µm): coxa 108, trochanter + femur 153, tibia 104, tarsus 90 and claw 19; tarsal digitules longer than claw digitules and capitate; claw digitules broad; claw without a denticle.

Comments. Paralecanium comperei   spec. n. is easily separable from the other Paralecanium   species in having the following combination of characters: (i) narrow fan-like marginal setae; (ii) very long dorsal setae, each over 30 µm long; (iii) dorsal pores in a clear polygonal pattern, and (iv) unusually long median stigmatic setae, each more than 50 µm long.

Host-plants. Banksia   sp. ( Proteaceae   ).

Name derivation. This species is named after George Compere, who collected a large number of important specimens in Australia. George Compere (1859–1929) worked first in the Riverside Orchard Industry in California but visited Australia in 1899 and was appointed to the Western Australia Department of Agriculture in 1901. He was a biocontrol enthusiast and introduced many biocontrol agents into Western Australia, although this was controversial and Walter Froggatt (1858–1937), another keen entomologist who worked on Australian scale insects in Eastern Australia, did not share this enthusiasm.