Mirococcopsis ptilura Gavrilov-Zimin, 2017

Gavrilov-Zimin, Ilya A. & Chetverikov, Philipp E., 2017, New scale insects (Homoptera: Coccinea) from the Cape Floristic Region, European Journal of Taxonomy 366, pp. 1-11 : 4-6

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Mirococcopsis ptilura Gavrilov-Zimin

sp. nov.

Mirococcopsis ptilura Gavrilov-Zimin sp. nov.


Fig. 3 View Fig


The species epithet is derived from the ancient Greek words “πτῐ́λον” – downiness (Latin prefix ptil-), and “οὐρά” -tail.

Material examined


SOUTH AFRICA: ♀, Western Cape Prov., near Lower Palmiet River, 34°19.713 S, 18°58.841 E, on twigs of Aspalathus sp. ( Fabaceae ), 7 Nov. 2016, S. Neser and Ph.E. Chetverikov leg. ( K 1326 ).



SOUTH AFRICA: 3 ♀♀, with the same collection data, each on a separate slide.



Body broadly oval or almost round, up to 2 mm long, enclosed in soft wax sac. Antennae 7-segmented. Legs shortened, middle and hind legs with enlarged coxae; hind femurs and tibiae with translucent pores; claw without a denticle. Ostioles represented by posterior pair only. Circulus absent. Anal apparatus strongly simplified and includes only sclerotized ring and short internal anal tube. Multilocular pores forming sparse transverse rows on posterior abdominal tergites and sternites. Trilocular pores sparsely scattered on all body surface excluding medial zone of thoracic sternites. Simple discoidal pores with heavily sclerotized rim forming groups of 2–3 pores on posterior abdominal tergite. Simple tubular ducts of two sizes: larger ducts about two times as long as diameter of multilocular pore; smaller ducts slightly longer than diameter of multilocular pore; both types of ducts scattered over entire body surface, but larger ducts more numerous in marginal zone of body on both sides. Short and thin flagellate setae scattered on entire body surface; setae on anal segment significantly longer.




Primolarvae were observed inside the female bodies (ovoviviparity) show a simplified anal apparatus and unusual huge trilocular pores about 2 times as large as the usual pores and forming a row along the body margin (see Fig. 3 View Fig ).


It is difficult to clearly define the taxonomic position of this species. In view of the total reduction of the cerarii, a claw without a denticle and the simplified anal apparatus the species seems to be related to species of the Palaearctic genus Mirococcopsis Borchsenius, 1948 , especially to M. sphaerica (Balachowsky, 1930) which is known from Tunisia. The new species differs from M. sphaerica in the absence of fungiform ducts, the presence of translucent pores on the hind legs and the structure of the anal apparatus with a closed anal ring lacking any setae (in contrast to an open-ended anal ring with 6 small setae in M. sphaerica ). See the modern identification key for the genus in Danzig & Gavrilov-Zimin (2015).