CEROCOCCIDAE Balachowsky

Chris J. Hodgson & Douglas J. Williams, 2016, (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha, Coccomorpha) with particular reference to species from the Afrotropical, western Palaearctic and western Oriental Regions, with the revival of Antecerococcus Green and description of a new genus and fifteen new species, and with ten new synonomies, Zootaxa 4091 (1), pp. 1-175: 8-9

publication ID

http://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4091.1.1

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:76D13D36-682E-4E91-AC91-693CA9D3D465

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/03F2FF48-812C-0D36-24B6-AE66FED1FE7B

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

CEROCOCCIDAE Balachowsky
status

 

CEROCOCCIDAE Balachowsky   , 1942.

The family Cerococcidae   includes some of the most ornate of all scale insects with many diverse waxy coverings, as shown in the colour plates of Cerococcus albospicatus Green   and C. ornatus Green   in Green (1909) and Cerococcus quercus Comstock   in Gill (1993) and also in the photographs in Lambdin & Kosztarab (1977). See also Plates 1–3 View PLATE 1 . As far as is known, all females go through three feeding stages to maturity: first- and second-instar nymphs and the adult, whilst males go through the first- and second-instar nymphal stages, which feed, and then through non-feeding prepupal and pupal stages before emerging as a (non-feeding) winged adult male.

Economic importance. There are few reports of damage caused by cerococcids, although coffee trees seem to be prone to attack. Le Pelley (1968) stated that Cerococcus catenarius Fonseca   was a serious pest of coffee in Brazil and that this scale insect probably spread to coffee from indigenous plants. Chacko et al. (1978), reporting on Cerococcus ornatus Green   on coffee in India, stated that it feeds on the main stem or the branches and that, in heavy infestations, the branches bend down, resulting in die-back. Other authors also have reported leaf loss and die back on various plant species (see Lambdin & Kosztarab, 1977).

Joubert (1925) suggested that C. (now Antecerococcus   ) cliffortiae Joubert   produces a large amount of honeydew because the host plant stems were covered in sooty mould although the insects were not numerous and no other coccoid was present. Froggatt (1900) stated that the honeydew produced by C. (now Antecerococcus   ) paradoxus (Maskell)   in Australia completely covered the females, making their tests and the whole infested area of the plant very sticky. In addition, Antecerococcus indicus (Maskell)   has been introduced recently to Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (Gabor Neumann, pers. comm.) and is causing stress in some Hibiscus   plants on which it is being attended by ants (for their honeydew), including the yellow crazy ant ( Anoplolepis gracilipes   ), which are a big problem on the island. For further information on honeydew in the family see herein under C. michaeli Lambdin.  

Appearance in life. The waxy tests of Cerococcus   and Antecerococcus   species can be somewhat varied, with the test of each species either smooth (as in C. quercus Comstock   , cover photo), corrugated, stellate, checkered or of a wool-like appearance; most tests are light to dark brown but a few are bright orange, yellow, pink, red or white (Lambdin & Kosztarab, 1977). However, the tests of Asterococcus   and Solenophora   have a waxy sac-like appearance and the cast exuviae of the first-instar nymph are on the anteromedial area of the test. In addition, the long spiracular furrows contain a white powdery wax that is conspicuous against the darker test (Lambdin & Kosztarab, 1977).