Journal archives for October 2016

October 18, 2016

Overview of scale insect (Coccoidea) families occurring in CA

Over 300 scale insects and about 200 mealybug species have been recorded from California. Considering just the scales, roughly half of our species belong to the family Diaspididae, the armored scales, though there are many smaller families represented in the state. Some families have very narrow host ranges, such as the cochineal scales which are restricted to Cactaceae, or the Matsucoccidae which are restricted to pine. Still other families are very polyphagous, especially non-native species. Many scale families are not represented in California, so it may be useful to list here the families that are, along with their diversity in the state and any host restrictions. While IDing scales to species level may be impossible without an expert in front of a microscope, many of these families and even genera are distinctive and should be identifiable to those levels. Images of representative members of the majority of these families may be found online for comparison.

This is a rudimentary list, I'd like to explore each of these families in depth later.



Aclerdidae (flat grass scales)
3 spp. (2 native, 1 introduced,in one genus, Aclerda) restricted to Poaceae.

Asterolecaniidae (pit scales)
11 spp. in 7 genera

Cerococcidae (oak wax scale)
1 sp., Cerococcus quercus, native, restricted to Quercus; distinct

Coccidae (soft scales)
50 spp. in 16 genera

Conchaspididae (orchid scale)
1 introduced polyphagous sp., Conchaspis angraeci

Dactylopiidae (cochineal scales)
4 spp. in one genus, Dactylopius, restricted to Cactaceae

Diaspididae (armored scales)
156 spp. in many genera

Eriococcidae (felt scales)
39 spp. in 9 genera

Kermesidae (gall-like scales)
13 spp. in 3 genera, mostly restricted to Quercus and Chrysolepis but Eriokermes gillettei occurs on juniper

Kerridae (lac scales)
2 spp. in 1 genus, Tachardiella (native)

Kuwaniidae (kuwana oak scale)
1 spp., Kuwania raygilli, native, on Quercus

Lecanodiaspididae (false pit scales)
3 spp. in 1 genus, Lecanodiaspis

Margarodidae (ground pearls)
2 spp. in 2 genera, subterranean

Matsucoccidae (pine vast scales)
7 spp. in 1 genus, Matsucoccus, restricted to pine

Monophlebidae (giant scales)
3 spp. in 2 genera, 2 native and 1 introduced

Ortheziidae (ensign scales)
9 spp. in 5 genera

Phoenicococcidae (palm scales)
1 sp., Phoenicococcus marlatti (date palm scale), restricted to palms

Pseudococcidae (mealybugs)
166 spp. in many genera

Putoidae (giant mealybugs)
16 spp. in one genus, Puto

Rhizoecidae (ground mealybugs)
17 spp. in 3 genera, all subterranean root-feeders

Steingeliidae (sycamore scale)
1 spp., Stomacoccus platani, restricted to sycamore

Xylococcidae (no common name)
3 spp. in one genus, Xylococculus

Posted on October 18, 2016 23:22 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 2 comments | Leave a comment