Coccus capensis

Williams, D. J. & Z. - Q, 2007, Carl Linnaeus and his scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) *, Zootaxa 1668 (1), pp. 427-490: 442-443

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1668.1.23

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Coccus capensis


Coccus capensis   (Family Conchaspididae   ) ( Figures 1N, 3 View FIGURE 3 )


Scale covering of adult female circular to oval, conical, whitish, with a characteristic hump at top, inconspicuous on twigs.

Body of adult female on microscope slide, widely pyriform, coarsely stippled. Abdominal segments sclerotized towards anterior margins, Pygidium sclerotized. Cephalic dorsal spots well developed, each with gran- ular central disc. Antennae apparently 3 segmented. Legs well developed. Tubular ducts present on margins of metathorax and abdominal segments I–IV. Multilocular disc pores present in a submarginal series on abdominal segments II–VI. A pair of dermal invaginations present on venter of metathorax.


The description by Linnaeus (1763) was remarkable for the time (q.v.) and validated the name. This species was described later by Mamet (1954) as Conchaspis phylicae Mamet   from South Africa on Phylica capitata   ( Rhamnaceae   ). It was later discussed by Ben-Dov (1974), who showed variation in the number of multilocular disc pores and ducts in specimens collected on other species of Phylica   also from South Africa. Although all the tubular ducts are depicted on the dorsum in the accompanying illustration ( Figure 2 View FIGURE 2 ), most open on the ventral surface according to Takagi (1992). The name Conchaspis phylicae Mamet   was synonymised with Coccus capensis   L. by Ben-Dov (1981) as Conchaspis capensis   (L.). Linnaeus described the species from the Cape of Good Hope on Gnaphalium muricatum   , now known as Metalasia muricata   ( Asteraceae   ).. I have prepared 7 specimens on 7 microscope slides from Linnaeus’ original dry material labelled “capensis” in Linnaeus’ handwriting ( Figure 1N). After examining these slide preparations, Ben-Dov (1981) designated an adult female, labelled “ Coccus capensis   N”, as a lectotype (LSL). This species was listed as No. 3 under Coccus   by Jackson (1913a) in his catalogue of Linnaean insect specimens.

Figure 3 View FIGURE 3 is reproduced from Mamet (1954) with the kind permission of the Registrar, Royal Entomological Society.

Coccus capreae   (Family Coccidae   )

There are no specimens of this species in Linnaeus’ collection and there is little information in the original description to identify the species with certainty except that it is large and feeds on Salix cinerea   ( Salicaceae   ), presumably in Sweden. Lindinger (1912) synonymised the name Coccus capreae   with Physokermes coryli   (L.), originally described as Coccus coryli L. This   last specific name has been suppressed under the plenary powers of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (see under Coccus coryli   ). The species Coccus coryli   was regarded as being identical to Coccus tiliae   L. by Marchal (1908) which is now accepted as Eulecanium tilae   (L.), a fairly common Palaearctic species feeding on woody plants.

Dalman (1826) described a species on Salix caprea   from Sweden as Coccus cypraeola Dalman   , a name also synonymised with Physokermes coryli   by Lindinger (1912). Furthermore, Ossiannilsson (1959) listed Eulecanium mali (Schrank)   , originally described as Coccus mali Schrank   (another synonym of E. tiliae   ) from Sweden on Salix vuminalis   , a plant in the same genus recorded by Linnaeus for his C. capreae   . It would be useless to speculate further on the exact identity of C. capreae   and its listing under E. tiliae   by Ben-Dov (1993) should be accepted.

Coccus carpini   (Family Coccidae   )

Although the entry of this species first appeared in Linnaeus (1758) as a species living in Sweden on Carpinus betulus   without a description, the name was valid because Linnaeus also cited his earlier reference describing it as Coccus carpini   in It. scan. (q.v.) published in 1751. No original material has been traced thus far. Newstead (1903) synonymised the name C. carpini   with C. vitis   L. as Pulvinaria vitis   (L.) and this synonymy has been accepted since and is probably correct. Newstead gave the date of C. carpini   in Fauna Svecica as 1746 but this should have been 1761. Carpinus betulus   is listed as a host plant of Pulvinaria vitis   in Poland by Łagowska (1996).