Ceroplastes madagascariensis (Targioni Tozzetti)

Hodgson, Chris J. & Peronti, Ana L. B. G., 2012, 3372, Zootaxa 3372, pp. 1-265: 76-80

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Ceroplastes madagascariensis (Targioni Tozzetti)


Ceroplastes madagascariensis (Targioni Tozzetti)  

( Figs 41, 42; Map fig. 104)

Gascardia madagascariensis Targioni Tozzetti, 1893: 88   .

Gascardia madagascariensis Targioni Tozzetti   ; Newstead, 1908b: 4; Newstead, 1908c: 350; Mamet, 1950: 20; De Lotto, 1965: 181; Hodgson, 1969a: 19; 1994: 268; Ben-Dov, 1993: 43.

Ceroplastes madagascariensis (Targioni Tozzetti)   ; Ben-Dov, 1993: 43.

Ceroplastes candela Cockerell & King   in Cockerell, 1902b: 113. Syn. nov.

Ceroplastes candela (Cockerell & King)   ; Ben-Dov, 1993: 24.

Gascardia candela (Cockerell & King)   ; De Lotto, 1965: 181; De Lotto, 1978: 142; Hodgson et al., 2009: 101.

Ceroplastes candella Cockerell & King   ; Ben-Dov, 1993: 24 [Misspelling].

Ceroplastes combreti Brain, 1920b: 27   . Syn. nov.

Gascardia combreti Brain   ; De Lotto, 1970: 145–146; Ben-Dov, 1993: 39; Hodgson et al., 2009: 102–104.

Type material not seen. Type material data: on an unknown plant, Madagascar, type series believed to be lost (G. Pellizzari Scaltriti in Ben-Dov, 1993)   .

Material studied. Gascardia madagascariensis   : Madagascar, Antananarivo (Tananarivo), on unknown plant, 15.ix.1923, Jas. C. Carter ( USNM): 3/7 (fair-poor); also no locality, on unknown plant, -. i.1950, col. unknown ( MNHN): 3/7 (fair); Tulea, no host, 1904, Voeltzkow ( BMNH, ex. Zool. Mus, Berlin): 1/2 (young, fairgood, labelled immature but actually very young adults)   .

Ceroplastes candela Cockerell & King   : Lectotype ♀ (here designated): South Africa: Left label: Coll. No. / Natal. (S. Africa) / Richmond / ex.: / Coll. Mr. Fuller; right label states   : Lectotype ( USDA): 1/1 (poor, in bits) (chosen by D.R. Miller)   .

Paralectotype ♀: left label: as for Lectotype; right label: Ceroplastes   / candela / Ckll. & King; ( USDA): 3/3 (poor); each slide has a label on the back stating   Paralectotype. Also left label: Ceroplastes   / candela / Ckll. & King / Type / Natal, Richmond / Fuller. Coll; right label: Paralectotype ( USDA): 1/1 (poor)   .

Ceroplastes combreti Brain   : Lectotype ♀ (here designated): South Africa: left label: De Wildt / Pretoria dist, / July 1918 / C. Fuller / on stems of / Combretum   / CKB 317; right label: Ceroplastes   / combreti ( SANC #317): 1/1 (good but missing legs and antennae).

Paralectotype ♀: South Africa: labelled as for   Lectotype ( SANC, CKB #317): 3/4ad (fair-good). Also seen: two slides with single specimens with similar data to   Lectotype in USDA.

Non-type material: South Africa, Limpopo Province [Northern Transvaal], Saltpan , on Dombeya rotundifolia   , 23.v.1953, J.C. Faure ( BMNH, 19641): 2/5 (mainly fair)   ; Limpopo Province [Northern Transvaal], Rustenburgh , on Dombeya rotundifolia   , 20.v.1966, C.J. Cilliers ( SANC #2980 View Materials ): 5/5 (mainly good)   .

Note. Data in brackets for C. combreti   .

Unmounted material. G. madagascariensis   : “Young adult female: white, stained rust-brown in the region of the single mediodorsal and seven submarginal nuclei; hemispherical with a mammiform swelling immediately below the two bilateral nuclei; tip of caudal process uncovered.” ( Newstead, 1908c: 351). Old adults: “Adult females exceedingly densely aggregated on twig, so that their bases touched all the way round twig and with their longitudinal axis along length of twig. Covered by a layer of yellowish wax to about same depth as height of insect, so that external appearance of twig was as a rod of wax.” ( Hodgson, 1994: 268). With wax removed, young adult female “dorsum with seven large spine-like tubercles and a mediodorsal tubercle; of these the median, anterior and two posterior ones are the shortest; anterior margin clypeate; caudal process shorter but stouter than the tubercle immediately surrounding it.” ( Newstead, 1908c: 351). “Old dried specimens dark brown, very long, with white wax streaks running up the stigmatic grooves … and probably right through the wax to the surface. Caudal process set high on posterior margin of dorsum. Posterior lobes [anal lobes] on either side of anal cleft rather swollen when viewed from side.” ( Hodgson, 1994: 268).

Unmounted material. C. candela   : “Long 2⅔, lat. 3½, alt 4½ mm.; dark red-brown, elevated, with vertical sides. Caudal horn a prominent stout spine, hardly ½ mm long, placed nearer the top of the scale than the base. Dorsum smooth and shining, with only a very small central raised line. Sides of insects with vertical stripes of dense white secretion; no wax, except those composing these stripes, between the insects, which are densely crowded together, their vertical sides contiguous. They rest on a thin substratum of wax and are covered above with yellowish-white wax, about 1 mm thick. The outlines of the insects are vaguely marked on the surface of the covering wax by a brownish stain. The wax, with the insects beneath, surrounds the twigs as the wax does the wick of a candle; the whole mass is about 20 mm. diameter, that of the twig being about 5 mm.” (Cockerell & King, in Cockerell, 1902b).

Unmounted material. C. combreti   : “ Test of the female about 3 mm long, broad and high, conical, with the anterior side a little more precipitous than the posterior, which is somewhat excavate above. There are no plaques, but the whole body of wax is arranged in more or less distinct columns, 3 on each side. The apex is blunt, bearing an opaque white ridge surrounded by six opaque white spots – the tops of columns. Between the two most prominent lateral ridges are the distinct white stigmatic bands which extend from the base to the crown. The colour, when fresh, is bright rose-red with darker transverse marks” ( De Lotto, 1970).

Mounted material. Body of youngest specimens broadly elliptical or roundly circular but, when crowded together, becoming exceedingly convex when mature, height at least 2–3x length, with a distinct, rather pointed dorsal lobe; sclerotised caudal process distinct, set high on posterior margin; posterior margin almost vertical. Lateral processes on young specimens well developed. Venter probably broadest in abdomen and with fairly distinct stigmatic clefts. Anal cleft appearing to extend up posterior margin. Length of young adult female 1.4–3.0 mm long and 0.95–2.0 mm wide but mature specimens probably 3.5–4.5 mm long, width perhaps 3 mm, height (including caudal process), about 8–10 mm.

Dorsum. Derm of youngest specimens membranous, becoming mildly sclerotised, except caudal process heavily sclerotised; with 3 pairs of lateral clear areas, a cephalic area and a well-developed dorsal clear area; each lacking dorsal setae. Caudal process probably about as long as wide (0.28–0.90 mm long, 0.24–1.00 mm wide on young specimens). Dorsal setae each bluntly spinose to club-shaped, with a rounded apex; most with a slight but distinct constriction basally; length about 6–12 µm long, width of basal socket 4–6 µm wide; frequent throughout but absent from clear areas. Dorsal pores: (i) loculate microducts of complex type, with 1–3 satellite loculi, those with 1 or 2 loculi most abundant; long inner ductules not detected; sparse throughout apart from clear areas where absent; wax-plate lines not detected; (ii) simple microducts not detected. Preopercular pores in a band of 12–25 pores in 2 or 3 rows. Anal plates rather rounded; each plate 115–180 µm long, width of single plate 85–100 µm; each plate with a rather variable number of long dorsal setae, perhaps 4–8, some at least 60 µm long. Anogenital fold with 2 pairs of lateral margin setae. Anal tube a little longer than anal plates.

Margin. Marginal setae mainly setose, each 16–25 µm long, but those between stigmatic clefts perhaps slightly stouter and more spinose; with, on each side ( C. combreti   ), 6 between eyespots anteriorly, 3 between each eyespot and anterior stigmatic cleft; 2–4 between stigmatic clefts and perhaps 7 or 8 along each abdominal margin; plus a small group of 2–6 setae on each side of each cleft. Stigmatic clefts quite distinct; with about 100–200 (300 ( Hodgson, 1994)) stigmatic setae; on youngest specimens, each group about as wide as long but, when adult insects crowded and extended dorsally, each group becoming exceptionally elongate on mature specimens, extending up sides of dorsum, each group becoming 5 or more times longer than wide; stigmatic setae each mainly roundly conical although some more triangular; setae quite variable in size, mainly 5–8 µm long and 3–7 µm wide, but with 1 near apex of group about 13–15 µm long and 10–13 µm wide. Eyespots small and inconspicuous, each 14–16 µm widest.

Venter. Derm membranous. Pregenital disc-pores each about 7.0–7.5 µm wide with mainly 10 loculi but more anterior disc-pores often with fewer loculi; abundant across segments VII and VI, and with some present on all preceding abdominal segments, particularly submedially associated with anogenital fold; plus some medially on metathorax and mesad to each mesocoxa. Spiracular disc-pores each also with mainly 8–10 loculi, subequal to or slightly smaller than pregenital disc-pores (3–6 µm wide); present in very broad bands of about 100+ pores, each band about as wide as peritremes medially but much wider near margin. Ventral microducts showing nothing distinctive. Ventral tubular ducts each with inner ductule perhaps absent or very short; sparse in an almost complete submarginal band but thought to be absent from anogenital fold. Submarginal setae each about 10–13 µm long, more abundant than marginal setae.

Antennae 8 segmented, total length 250–365 µm; additional setae sometimes present on antennal segments III & IV. Clypeolabral shield 186–307 µm long. Spiracles each with peritremes about 55–75 µm wide. Legs each with a tibio-tarsal articulatory sclerosis; tarsal digitules subequal in length to claw digitules; claw digitules similar, with broad apices; claw denticle obscure or absent; dimensions of metathoracic legs (µm): coxa 122–140; trochanter + femur 186–210; tibia 120–140; tarsus 75–94, and claw 24–28; tarsal digitules 40–45, claw digitules 60–65 µm long.

Discussion. As the handwriting on two of the slides of C. candela   was that of De Lotto, presumably these were some of the slides seen by De Lotto when he studied this species. In his key, De Lotto (1978) separated C. candela   from the other Gascardia species   by the presence of “anal plates each with as many as 8 or 9 setae; stigmatic setae of different sizes intermingled without any pattern”. On the present specimens, the exact number of setae on the anal plates was not clear but did appear to be more than 7, but usually rather fewer on the specimens of C. combreti   and the material from Tulea, Madagascar. In addition, the stigmatic setae appeared to be more similar in size than De Lotto suggested, apart from the single larger spine towards the apex of each group. Although the specimens of C. candela   were very poor, the characters found on these slides did agree well with those of C. madagascariensis   . Comparison of the description given by Cockerell and King (in Cockerell, 1902b) closely resembles that for Gascardia madagascariensis   given by Newstead (1908c) and Hodgson (1994). In particular, as far as could be seen on the present specimens of C. candela   , the morphology described above is also that used to define G. madagascariensis   as redescribed by Hodgson (1994): (i) the exceedingly elongate group of stigmatic setae in each cleft; (ii) the shape of the dorsal setae, which were rather large, club-shaped to parallel-sided and narrower at the base than near their middle; (iii) the spiracular disc-pores with 10 loculi, and (iv) anal plates with 7 or 8 long setae. The dorsal pores are also similar in structure in these 2 species as is the distribution of the ventral tubular ducts. Although the specimens studied here were in poor condition, it is here considered that C. candela   should be considered a synonym of Ceroplastes (Gascardia) madagascariensis  

Soon after we studied C. combreti   , it was realised that it was extremely similar to C. madagascariensis   , differing in only a few small particulars, the most important of which was that the former had fewer stigmatic setae and they did not extend a long way onto the dorsum. On seeing the young specimens of C. madagascariensis   from Tulea, Madagascar, where each stigmatic cleft had many fewer stigmatic setae in a group about as long as wide, it was obvious that C. combreti   represented the young adult stage of C. madagascariensis   before the massive dorsal extension of the dorsum. Thus, C. combreti   also is synonymised here with Ceroplastes (Gascardia) madagascariensis   .

C. madagascariensis   is now known from the original collections from Madagascar on a species of Lauraceae   , and from South Africa on Combretum sp.   ( Combretaceae   ) and Dombeya rotundifolia   ( Sterculiaceae   ). Mamet (1950) also recorded it on mangrove.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


United States Department of Agriculture


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute














Ceroplastes madagascariensis (Targioni Tozzetti)

Hodgson, Chris J. & Peronti, Ana L. B. G. 2012

Ceroplastes madagascariensis (Targioni Tozzetti)

Ben-Dov, Y. 1993: 43

Ceroplastes candela (Cockerell & King)

Ben-Dov, Y. 1993: 24

Ceroplastes candella

Ben-Dov, Y. 1993: 24

Gascardia combreti

Hodgson, C. J. & Williams, D. J. & Giliomee, J. H. 2009: 102
Ben-Dov, Y. 1993: 39
De Lotto, G. 1970: 145

Gascardia candela (Cockerell & King)

Hodgson, C. J. & Williams, D. J. & Giliomee, J. H. 2009: 101
De Lotto, G. 1978: 142
De Lotto, G. 1965: 181

Ceroplastes combreti

Brain, C. K. 1920: 27

Gascardia madagascariensis Targioni Tozzetti

Hodgson, C. J. 1994: 268
Ben-Dov, Y. 1993: 43
Hodgson, C. J. 1969: 19
De Lotto, G. 1965: 181
Mamet, J. R. 1950: 20
Newstead, R. 1908: 4
Newstead, R. 1908: 350

Ceroplastes candela

Cockerell, T. D. A. 1902: 113

Gascardia madagascariensis Targioni Tozzetti, 1893: 88

Targioni Tozzetti, A. 1893: 88