Paratachardina decorella (Maskell)

Kondo, Takumasa & Gullan, Penny J., 2007, Taxonomic review of the lac insect genus Paratachardina Balachowsky (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Kerriidae), with a revised key to genera of Kerriidae and description of two new species, Zootaxa 1617, pp. 1-41 : 8-11

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.179122


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Paratachardina decorella (Maskell)


Paratachardina decorella (Maskell) View in CoL

( Figs 3 View FIGURE 3 , 2 View FIGURE 2 A)

Carteria decorella Maskell, 1893: 247 View in CoL .

Tachardia decorella ( Maskell) View in CoL ; Maskell, 1895: 70.

Tachardia (Carteria) decorella (Maskell) View in CoL ; Ramakrishna Ayyar, 1921: 340. Paratachardina decorella (Maskell) View in CoL ; Balachowsky, 1950: 8; Varshney, 1984: 370. Tachardina decorella (Maskell) View in CoL ; Brimblecombe, 1962: 228.

Type material studied. Lectotype, hereby designated. Second-instar female. AUSTRALIA: Maskell label: " Tachardia / Carteria / decorella / adult female/ 1892 / W.M.M.", lectotype 0.77 mm long, 0.63 mm wide ( ANIC). Paralectotypes. Same label data as lectotype, 1 slide (5 adult males) + 1 (1 second-instar female inside its test, + 1 empty male test) ( NZAC). Although all syntypic material of this species belonged to the NZAC, that museum follows the principle that primary type material should reside in the country of origin of the species, if suitable repositories exist, and thus when lectotypes are designated for Australian species these can be deposited in the ANIC ( Deitz & Tocker 1980). [See below for discussion of type status of other specimens.]

Other material studied. AUSTRALIA: " Tachardia / decorella / Australia ", no specific collection data, mounted from dry material of W.M. Maskell by PJG in 1996, 7(7) ( NZAC), 2(2) ( ANIC); Sydney, from E.E. Green, 1918, G.F. Ferris collection, ex Eugenia smithi , coll. Froggatt, 2(7) (BME).

Adult female

Unmounted material ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 A) (modified from Maskell, 1893). Adult female single or aggregated in masses on twig. Test normally subcircular, rather convex, colour yellowish-brown, average 1/6 of an inch [ca 4.2 mm]. Centre of test occupied by a small elongate, narrow, red or purple lamina of wax transversely corrugated [= test of first-instar nymph]; with narrow ridges and depressions radiating from centre of test, giving the test a corrugated appearance; with a minute orifice at posterior extremity of small central lamina. Female insect dark red. Embryonic nymphs red in colour, elliptical, tapering posteriorly, abdomen ending in 2 divergent and conspicuous anal tubercles, each bearing a long seta and some short hairs. Male pupa covered by a test of red or yellowish-red wax. Male test elongate-elliptical, convex above, median region moderately rough and frequently matching form of elliptical, segmented enclosed pupa; margin corrugated as on female test. Length of male test about 1/20 of an inch [ca 1.3 mm]; posterior extremity with a flat hinged plate, which lifts to allow escape of adult. Male pupa dark red in colour. Adult male dark red, wings hyaline with red veins, body about 1/30 of an inch [ca 0.9 mm] exclusive of aedeagus; anal tubercles each with 2 setae from which extend long cottony "tails".

Mounted material ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ). Body subcircular, 1.2–1.6 mm long, 1.4–1.6 mm wide, constricted at level of antennae and slightly notched near body apex (n = 2, from Maskell's dry material - see notes below).

Dorsum. Brachia membranous, short, length equal to or less than half length of a brachial plate. Brachial plates triangular, almost equilateral, each plate 100–133 µm long, 100–125 µm wide; brachial crater shallow, with 30–35 pseudospines in a subcircular group near outermost side of plate; each pseudospine 4 µm wide, with 5-loculi; with a few setae and brachial pores present around margins of pseudospine group. Anterior spiracles 80–93 µm long, peritremes each 40–48 µm wide, surrounded by sclerotized area 83–100 µm long, 78– 80 µm wide; with a group of 5–8 pores around spiracles within spiracular sclerotization. Canella represented by a group of 20–35 canellar pores on area just outside spiracular sclerotization, each pore 4–5 µm wide, with 5 loculi. Dorsal spine well developed, 113–128 µm long, 98–105 µm wide at base, with an opening at apex; membranous pedicel no longer than the length of spine, slightly broader than base of dorsal spine. Anal tubercle well developed, subcircular, well sclerotized; pre-anal plate membranous, inconspicuous, supra-anal plate 163–168 µm long, 163–175 µm wide at widest point. Pygidial apodemes small, often hard to detect. Anal fringe incomplete, with a pair of bifid plates, each 38–50 µm long, 7–18 µm wide. Anal ring entire, 60–63 µm wide, tip of setae well surpassing anal fringe. Microducts scarce, present marginally and submarginally, each about 2µm wide. Spermatoid ducts: 1 or 2 associated with each microduct. Dorsal setae each 5–8 µm long.

Venter. Antennae 143–183 µm long, 4 segmented, each segment showing some sign of sclerotization, with an apical sclerotic plate bearing 2 long fleshy setae and 2 or 3 shorter setae. Clypeolabral shield 178–185 µm long, 125–150 µm wide. Labium apparently 2 segmented, 82–90 µm long, 82–90 µm wide. Pre-oral lobes elongate, poorly developed, present alongside clypeolabral shield on each side; post-oral lobes conical, present anterior to labium. Legs completely absent. Posterior spiracles 43–53 long, peritremes each 25–28 µm wide; with 4–8 spiracular pores present around each spiracle, each pore 4–5 µm wide with 5-loculi. Marginal duct clusters distinct, 8 pairs in total; each composed of large-sized microducts (each 4–5 µm wide) and medium-sized microducts (each 3 µm wide), with large-sized microducts restricted to inner areas of cluster.

Ventral duct clusters 8 pairs in total, each small, composed of 3–15 (mostly 5–10) medium-sized microducts, each microduct 3–4 µm wide. Microducts outside ventral and marginal duct clusters smallest, each 2.0–2.5 µm wide, present marginally and submarginally, abundant particularly around marginal duct clusters. Spermatoid ducts similar to those on dorsum, detected around body margin, appearing most numerous within each marginal duct cluster, with 1 (rarely 2) ducts associated with each microduct. Ventral setae each 5–10 µm long.

Diagnosis. Paratachardina decorella can be distinguished from other species of Paratachardina by following combination of features: (i) four-segmented antennae; (ii) 8 pairs of ventral duct clusters; (iii) brachial plates almost equilateral triangular, each with 30–35 pseudospines; and (iv) legs completely absent. This is the only known species in the genus with 4-segmented antennae and marginal duct clusters composed of both medium-sized microducts and large-sized microducts, with large-sized microducts present only within each cluster. All other species have fewer antennal segments, and the marginal duct clusters have at least one or two large-sized microducts on the outer margins of each cluster, with the exception of P. morobensis in which all the microducts in each marginal duct cluster are of large size.

Notes. The full type host and type locality data for P. d e c o re l l a are uncertain. Maskell (1893) stated that Mr. Koebele first sent him specimens of males and immature females on Myrica cerifera from Sydney, Australia, and later Mr. Olliff sent him two parcels of heavily parasitized adults at different times from a "native shrub", for which the bark did not appear the same to Maskell as that of M. cerifera . It is not clear whether Mr. Olliff’s second and third parcels were even from the same locality as the original collection of insects. One small pill box of dry material in NZAC is labelled in Maskell's handwriting as " Tachardia / decorella / Australia " and contains tests of adult females in good condition (several adult females, some damaged, were slidemounted by PJG in 1996). These specimens may not be part of Maskell's type series, although the appearance of the tests matches that in Maskell's (1893: plate XVIII, fig. 14) drawing of the adult female tests. The genus name " Tachardia " on the label suggests that these specimens may have been part of Maskell's later acquisitions, as he subsequently obtained further specimens from Mr. Koebele and also Mr. Froggatt from New South Wales as well as from Mr. French in Victoria, and at that time Maskell (1895) referred to this species as Tachardia decorella , as on the label of the dry material. Insects from the first collection sent to Maskell came from M. cerifera (Myricaceae) , which is native to the southeastern U.S.A. (USDA-Plant database 2007), and thus the original collection by Koebele must have been from a garden plant. Besides P. d e c o re l l a, there are other species of Paratachardina in Australia, but all are undescribed (I.L. Lit & P.J. Gullan, unpublished data).


Australian National Insect Collection


New Zealand Arthropod Collection














Paratachardina decorella (Maskell)

Kondo, Takumasa & Gullan, Penny J. 2007

Tachardia (Carteria) decorella

Varshney 1984: 370
Brimblecombe 1962: 228
Balachowsky 1950: 8
Ramakrishna 1921: 340

Tachardia decorella (

Maskell 1895: 70

Carteria decorella

Maskell 1893: 247
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