Ericerus farsicus Moghaddam & Faghih

Moghaddam, Masumeh & Faghih, Hosien, 2019, A new species of soft scale insect (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Coccidae) on fig trees in Iran, Zootaxa 4567 (3), pp. 561-566: 562-565

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Ericerus farsicus Moghaddam & Faghih

sp. n.

Ericerus farsicus Moghaddam & Faghih   sp. n.

( Plate 2 A, B, C, D View PLATE 2 ; and Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 )

Material examined. Holotype, adult female: IRAN:   left label: 2950/ Fars province: / 12 km W Estahban /

27.iii.2018 / N29˚09′58.3″/ E53˚55′48.5″; right label: Holotype / Ericerus ficus   sp. n. / on Ficus carica   ( Moraceae   )/ coll. H. Faghih (HMIM). Paratypes female: IRAN, one adult female mounted on same slide as holotype; 10 adult females mounted singly on slides; 16 adult females mounted with 2 on each of 8 slides, each slide with same data on left label as holotype slide: 2 paratypes on 2 slides (BMNH); 2 paratypes on 2 slides (MNHN); and 6 paratypes on 6 slides (HMIM).

Unmounted material. Feeding on twigs ( Plate 2 View PLATE 2 ). Young adults pale brown with dark blotches ( Plate 2 C View PLATE 2 ). Mature females highly convex ( Plate 2 D View PLATE 2 ), body as tall as long, length about 8 mm or slightly more; pale brown with rather irregular concave brown spots. Second instars ( Plate 2 A and B View PLATE 2 ) dark brown, oval, found on twigs.

Slide-mounted material. Body of young adult circular, with a slight indentation at each spiracular cleft; body length 2.62 (1.86–3.04) mm, width 2.60 (1.47–3.04) mm. Anal cleft short, with sides divergent.

Slide-mounted adult female: dorsum. Derm of both young and mature specimens membranous, apart from a sclerotized crescent around anal plates. Dorsal setae sharply spinose, each about 10 (8–13) µm long, diameter of basal socket about 2 (2–5) µm; setae scattered rather sparsely throughout dorsum. Dorsal microducts not observed. Preopercular pores circular or oval, each with central surface granular, each about 4 (3–6) µm in diameter, present in a scattered group anterior to anal plates, extending anteriorly to approximately dorsad to prothorax, numbering 58 (45–60). Tubular ducts common throughout dorsum, except in area covered by preopercular pores; each duct moderately large, with a narrow outer ductule about 8 (8–12) µm long and about 3 µm wide, a broad, deep, cupshaped invagination at inner end, and inner ductule about 14 (10–15) µm long, ending in terminal invaginations. Anal plates together approximately quadrate, each without a discal seta; each plate about 160 (136–160) µm long, 80 (50–90) µm wide, with a supporting bar; lateral angle rounded, apex rather sharply pointed, bearing 3 subapical setae and 1 apical seta. Ano-genital fold with 2 pairs of setae on each lateral margin. Anal ring bearing 4 pairs of long setae.

Margin. Most marginal setae stoutly spinose, each about 22 (18–25) µm long, with a blunt apex and a large basal socket; with about 10 (10 or 11) setae on each side between stigmatic areas; spinose setae replaced by long flagellate setae on anterior and posterior margins, length of each long seta about 96 (70–110) µm long. Stigmatic clefts broad and shallow, each containing a group of 5 (4–6) stigmatic spines; each spine bluntly spinose, similar in shape to marginal spines but more rounded apically; each spine 8–22 (12–28) µm long. No eye spots detected.

Venter. Derm membranous. Multilocular disc-pores, each about 5 µm in diameter with 10 loculi, present on each side of genital opening and across all preceding abdominal plus meta- and mesothoracic segments; also present lateral to each coxa, in a group just mesad to each procoxa. Spiracular disc-pores each about 4 µm in diameter, with 5 loculi, present in a rather sparse band between each stigmatic cleft and spiracle; with about 25 (24–35) pores in each anterior band and about 23 (23–31) in each posterior band. Preantennal pores absent. Ventral microducts ( Fig. 1 A View FIGURE 1 ) rather heavily sclerotized, abundant, present on head, mesad to submarginal duct band on thorax and abdomen; absent from elsewhere. Ventral tubular ducts of 1 type, each with very long outer ductule, each about 24 (22–28) µm long and about 4 µm wide; inner ductule shorter, about 16 (12–16) µm long, with a welldeveloped terminal gland; present in a broad submarginal band and in a sparse band extending from antennae posteriorly around mouthparts. Ventral setae: with only 1 pair of long pregenital setae, each seta about 60 (42–60) µm long, and 4 (4 or 5) pairs of short pregenital setae. With 2 pairs of moderate-sized setae situated between antennae, each seta about 18 (16–25) µm long; shorter setae fairly frequent on abdomen and near each coxa, each about 12 µm long; also with a well-defined submarginal ring of rather more setose setae, each about 14 µm long; and each side with about 3–5 marginal setae between stigmatic areas. Antennae rather variable, 7 or 8 segmented, each segment IV with up to 2 pseudo-articulations; each antenna 296 (224–296) µm long; length of segments in µm: I 40 (36–42); II 24 (20–26); III 64 (46–66); IV 74 (56–82); V 26 (20–24); VI 28 (20–34) and VII 30 (28-34). Scape (segment I) with 3 hair-like setae, segment II with 1 hair-like seta, III with 2 hair-like setae, IV with 2 hairlike setae, V with 1 hair-like seta and 1 fleshy seta, VI with 1 hair-like seta, and segment VII with 3 fleshy setae and 4 hair-like setae. Legs well developed, each with tibia and tarsus separate but without articulatory sclerosis. Measurements of hind leg: coxa 104 (90–120) µm long; trochanter + femur 166 (146–166) µm; tibia 126 (120–160) µm long and 24 (22–34) µm wide (length to width ratio 3.82–4.12:1); tarsus 80 (70–86) µm; claw 34 (28–40) µm, without a denticle; claw digitules short, thin and pointed; tarsal digitules each 28 (26–32) µm long, slender with a small apical swelling. Anterior spiracles each with peritreme 86 (72–92) µm wide, posterior spiracles each with peritreme 98 (88–104) µm wide.

Etymology. The specific name is based on the name of Fars province in Iran, where the specimens were collected, combined with the Greek suffix ‘ -icus ’ denoting ‘belonging to’.

Comments. The new species is closest to Ericerus pela (Chavannes)   , in possessing: (i) 4-6 stigmatic spines in each stigmatic cleft; (ii) dorsal tubular ducts present except in the area covered by the preopercular pores; and (iii) ventral microducts abundant between the antennae and in a narrow band just mesad to the submarginal band of tubular ducts. However, the new species differs from E. pela   as follows (character-states of E. pela   in brackets): (i) larval stages not buried deep in white waxen threads (buried); (ii) long flagellate setae present on anterior and posterior margins (marginal setae all same size, conical not flagellate); (iii) ventral tubular ducts of 1 type (2 types); (iv) dorsal tubular ducts with an inner ductule (inner ductule apparently lacking); (v) antennae 7 or 8 segmented (6 segmented); (vi) claw digitules non-capitate (capitate), and (vii) sclerotized crescent covers around anal plates (no sclerotized crescent). In addition, E. farsicus   is similar to Eulecanium tiliae (Linnaeus)   , in possessing: (i) long flagellate setae present on anterior and posterior margins; (ii) a sclerotized crescent present around anal plates; and (iii) ventral microducts abundant between antennae and in a narrow band just mesad to the submarginal tubular duct band. However, the new species differs from E. tiliae   as follows (character-states of E. tiliae   in brackets): (i) 4–6 stigmatic spines in each stigmatic cleft (2 or 3); (ii) antennae each with 7 or 8 segments (5 or 6); (iii) preopercular pores present on dorsum (absent); (iv) ventral tubular ducts of 1 type (2 types); (v) 1 pair of long pregenital setae with 1 pair long setae and 4–5 pairs of short setae (3 pairs large setae only); (vi) spiracles large (normal size), and (vii) tarsus and claw digitules short, slender and pointed (extending beyond claw and with small apical dilations).

Biological notes. Ericerus farsicus   appears to be univoltine, with one generation during the summer, and presumably overwinters as second-instar nymphs on young stems; the number of developmental instars is not known. The adult female appears in early March in Iran. The species has been recorded as a pest in the main figcultivating area in Estahban, Fars province, Iran. In recent years, a severe and prolonged drought has persisted in the Estahban area, forcing the fig farmers to abandon traditional rain-fed cultivation and irrigate their fig orchards manually. This climatic change has resulted in increased severity of fig-tree infestation by E. farsicus   .