Ceroplastes stellifera (Westwood)

Hodgson, Chris J. & Peronti, Ana L. B. G., 2012, 3372, Zootaxa 3372, pp. 1-265: 155-157

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Ceroplastes stellifera (Westwood)


Ceroplastes stellifera (Westwood)  

( Figs 6, 14, 70, 71; Map fig. 105)

Coccus stellifer Westwood, 1871a   : iii.

Coccus stellifer Westwood   ; Westwood, 1871b: 1006.

Vinsonia pulchella Signoret, 1872: 34   . Synonymised by Signoret, 1877: 608.

Vinsonia stellifera (Westwood)   ; Douglas, 1888: 152.

Ceroplastes stellifer (Westwood)   ; Lindinger, 1913: 81; Peronti et al., 2008: 177.

Type material not seen. Syntypic material ( England, Pant y Goitre, Abergavenny, on Cypripedium niveum   ( Orchidaceae   ), imported from the west coast of Siam (= Thailand)). This slide is supposed to be deposited in the BMNH ( Ben-Dov, 1993) but could not be found.

Material examined: Cape Verde Is., Villa da Rio Grande, on mango, 26.ix.1976, H. Schmutterer ( BMNH): 1/ 2 (poor); Santa Antao, Cha de Pedra, on Eugenia jambolana   , 14.x.1983, M.L. Lobo Lima ( BMNH): 1/3 (good). Côte d’Ivoire, intercepted in Spain, on mango, May 1984, ETSIA Valencia ( BMNH): 1/1 (good); no site, on Schefflera arboricola   , 20.ix.1988, P. Cooper ( USNM): 2/2 (good). Kenya, no site, on Ficus hochstetteri   , 20.ix.1937, H. Wilkinson ( BMNH): 1/2 (good). Réunion, Réserve Biologique de Mare Longue, 170m, Mimusops calophylloides   & Labourdonnaisia   [ maxima   ?], 28.xi.1973, D. Matile ( MNHN #6140): 2/2 (fair). São Tomé, no site, on coconut, 1928, G.S. Cotterell ( BMNH): 1/1 (good). Seychelles, no site, on banana, 27.iii.1974, Dr. I Maines #3 ( BMNH): 1/2 (good). Tanzania, Simba Wanga, no host, 22.x.1987, G. Tucher ( BMNH): 1/1 (old, fair). Also: England, Kew, on orchid, -. vi.1967, no coll. ( BMNH): 1/3 (good). Fiji, Viti Levu, Savura Nature Reserve, Suva, on a palm, 15.vii.2009, C.J. Hodgson ( BMNH): 2/2 (good).

Unmounted material. “Adult female with a semi-translucent waxy test, the margins of which are flattened and produced into seven rays that give the insect the appearance of a miniature starfish. Median area strongly convex above, the apex with an oblong pad of opaque white wax. Colour of living [mature] examples pink darkening with age to purplish red. In dried examples, this tint fades to reddish brown. Anal opercular dark brown. Margin colourless during life; yellowish in dried examples. Each ray is tipped by a fairly long conical process of opaque white wax. The median anterior ray carries a supplementary white point on each side of terminal process. The following 2 rays on each side have a well-defined median ridge. A pair of small white waxy processes project from the posterior margin immediately behind the anal aperture. Undersurface flat. After oviposition, the median area shrinks and forms a cavity for the reception of the eggs. From below, it can be seen that the median area corresponds with the cephalic lobe. The following 2 rays on each side are associated with the 2 pairs of stigmata, while the 2 remaining rays proceed from the abdominal lobes. At the extremity of each ray, below the base of the terminal process, is a fringe of minute glassy points — the remains of the earliest larval fringe. Diameter across rays: 3.5–4.5 mm.” ( Green, 1909: 280). Wax almost translucent when young but becoming first pale green and then often reddish when mature; ends of each arm with white dry wax. Rather beautiful.

Unmounted, with wax removed. Body round to 6-sided but with a pronounced cephalic lobe. Old individuals with almost entire dorsum sclerotised apart from lateral clear areas (anterior clear area hidden beneath anterior swelling of cephalic lobe on available material); dorsal clear area sclerotised with rest of dorsum. Caudal process about as long as broad, sclerotised. Eyespots dorsal. Ventrally, cephalic lobe on older individuals heavily sclerotised. Stigmatic clefts obscure.

Mounted material. Body oval, but with anterior margin of head forming a pronounced prominence in mature specimens; stigmatic clefts shallow; dorsum without tubercles. Caudal process short and extending dorsoposteriorly. Derm membranous when young but most of dorsum covered in a sclerotised plate-like extension from caudal process in mature specimens. Ventral derm of cephalic prominence heavily sclerotised on old specimens. Length 0.8–2.0 mm, total width of mounted specimens 0.6–1.45 mm.

Dorsum. Derm membranous on young specimens but entire median part of dorsum becoming lightly sclerotised on mature specimens, extending from caudal process to head; possibly covering most of dorsum in oldest specimens; caudal process quite small and heavily sclerotised, 80–195 µm long and 80–195 µm wide. Derm with eight large clear areas, each without setae; lateral and cephalic clear areas not appearing to extend into sclerotised area on available mature specimens. Dorsal setae few or even perhaps sometimes absent, each small to minute (1.5–3.0 µm), subequal to or much shorter than width of basal socket; pointed. Dorsal pores: (i) loculate microducts, each 2.5–4.0 µm wide, with a small primary loculus and with 0–2 very small satellite loculi, those with no satellite loculi most abundant; and (ii) simple microducts, absent from clear areas, perhaps present elsewhere as a minute pore (<0.5 µm wide) with a long inner ductule. Preopercular pores present, in a transverse band of 12–21 pores in 2 rows, more or less divided into a group (of 4–11) on each side. Anal plates rather narrow; each with 3 pairs of larger dorsal setae on posterior quarter (apical seta perhaps absent); length of plates 80–88 µm, width of both plates combined 64–70 µm. Anterior margin of anogenital fold perhaps without setae. Anal tube about 2x length of anal plates; anal ring setae each about 125 µm long.

Margin. Marginal setae strongly setose, each 13 µm long; with 18–25 anteriorly between anterior stigmatic clefts, and (on each side) 10–14 between stigmatic clefts and 22–25 on each side of abdomen; each anal lobe with 3 or 4 very long setae, each about 105–180 µm long. Stigmatic clefts shallow, but distinct; each cleft with a triangular group of conical stigmatic setae as follows: a marginal line of 3–5 small setae with a rounded apex, a submarginal line of 1–4 slightly sharper-pointed setae followed by a further line of 0–2 significantly larger, more sharply-pointed setae and finally a single large sharply-pointed stigmatic seta; most specimens with 4 rows, each seta becoming larger away from margin; smallest marginal setae 5–8 µm long and 4–5 µm wide at base, largest stigmatic setae about 25 µm long and 8 or 9 µm wide at base; with totals of 9 setae in each anterior cleft and 7–10 in each posterior cleft. Eyespots not detected.

Venter. Derm membranous but with some sclerotisation in each stigmatic cleft and with anterior margin of head becoming heavily sclerotised in mature specimens. Pregenital disc-pores present in a loose group on either side of genital opening and with 0–2 in segments VI and V; absent more anteriorly. Spiracular disc-pores each with 4 or 5 loculi; present in narrow bands about 2 pores wide, each with about 24–37 pores; with only 1 or 2 pores extending medially past peritreme. Ventral microducts showing nothing distinctive. Ventral tubular ducts absent. Ventral setae: with a pair of long pregenital setae on abdominal segment VII, each about 60–70 µm long, with at least 1 longer setae (about 15–20 µm long) plus 2–4 shorter seta mesad to each procoxa and 1 longer and 2 short setae mesad to each meso- and metacoxae; with 14–20 interantennal setae, longest about 65–85 µm long but some fairly short; submarginal setae short, each about 4 µm long, with 5 or 6 between clefts; other setae frequent in a broad submarginal band and anterior to antennae.

Antennae each with 6 segments, with only slight signs of pseudo-articulations in segment III; total length 160–200 µm. Clypeolabral shield about 90–130 µm long. Spiracle apodeme long, about 1.4–1.5 times longer than width of peritremes: width of anterior peritremes 24–26 µm, posterior peritremes 28–40 µm; length of apodeme 43–44 µm. Legs well developed but small, with tibia and tarsus fused; each claw without a denticle; claw digitules both broad but with 1 sometimes appearing slightly narrower than other, each subequal to or slightly shorter than tarsal digitules; dimensions of metathoracic legs (µm): coxa 105–180; trochanter + femur 120–205; tibia + tarsus 100–182. Claws each 13 µm long.

Discussion. Within the Afrotropical Region, C. stellifera   has been recorded from Angola, Kenya, Principe, São Tomé, Tanzania and Zanzibar; from Réunion and Seychelles in the western Indian Ocean ( Ben-Dov, 1993) and from the Azores and Madeira in the eastern Atlantic. However, it is not thought to be common or widespread and these may simply represent introduced specimens. Worldwide, it has been recorded on a wide range of plants belonging to 28 families: Anacardiaceae   , Apocynaceae   , Araliaceae   , Arecaceae   , Aspleniaceae   , Celastraceae   , Clusiaceae   , Ebenaceae   , Euphorbiaceae   , Fabaceae, Guttiferae   , Lauraceae   , Liliaceae   , Moraceae   , Musaceae   , Myrsinaceae   , Myrtaceae   , Orchidaceae, Palmae   , Phyllanthaceae   , Polypodiaceae   , Pteridaceae   , Rubiaceae   , Rutaceae   , Sapotaceae   , Stilaginaceae   , Strelitziaceae   and Zingiberaceae   ( Ben-Dov et al., 2011 + present records). It is considered a potential pest on such crops as mango, citrus and several ornamentals ( Hamon & Williams, 1984). In the Afrotropical Region, C. stellifera   seems best adapted to ecosystems close to the sea.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle














Ceroplastes stellifera (Westwood)

Hodgson, Chris J. & Peronti, Ana L. B. G. 2012

Ceroplastes stellifer (Westwood)

Peronti, A. L. B. G. & Sousa-Silva C. R. & Granara de Willink, M. C. 2008: 177
Lindinger, L. 1913: 81

Vinsonia stellifera (Westwood)

Douglas, J. W. 1888: 152

Vinsonia pulchella

Signoret, V. 1877: 608
Signoret, V. 1872: 34

Coccus stellifer

Westwood, J. O. 1871: 1006