Ceroplastes brevicauda Hall

Hodgson, Chris J. & Peronti, Ana L. B. G., 2012, 3372, Zootaxa 3372, pp. 1-265: 50-53

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Ceroplastes brevicauda Hall


Ceroplastes brevicauda Hall  

( Fig. 32: Map fig. 103)

Ceroplastes destructor var. brevicauda Hall, 1931: 293   .

Ceroplastes brevicauda Hall   ; De Lotto, 1955: 267; 1965: 181.

Ceroplastes luteolus De Lotto   ; 1955: 268; 1965: 182. Synonymised by De Lotto, 1965: 196, but here treated as a good species, see below.

Gascardia brevicauda (Hall)   ; De Lotto, 1955: 267; 1965: 196; 1967a: 111; Hodgson, 1969: 23; Almeida, 1973: 4; Couturier et al., 1985: 275; Ben-Dov, 1993: 22.

Material examined: Lectotype ♀ (here designated): Zimbabwe [Southern Rhodesia]: upper label, scratched onto glass: Ceroplastes   / destructor var. / brevicauda Hall   / Citrus   / aurantium / (Lu Rha / branches) / Mazoe / WJH 1/9/27; and lower stuck-on label: TYPE / 14.iii.30 / WJH ( BMNH): 1/2ad ♀♀ (good; lectotype arrowed, on right of slide).

Paralectotype ♀: remaining specimen on lectotype slide plus: as previous but dated 5/1/28 ( BMNH): 1/3 (fair-good)   .

Also: Benin, no site, on indeterminate plant, 1976, Desmidts & Schmitz ( MNHN #6646): 1/2 (good). Cameroon, Abong Mbang, Coffee, -. ii.1987, J. Nguyen Ban ( MNHN #10743): 1/1 (good). Central African Republic, Ngede, on Markhamia platycalyx   , 28.vi.1910, Ent. Res. Com., Col. Off. ( BMNH): 2/5 (fair-good). Comoros, Lac Dzialandzé, on Niajè (Njazidja), 15.i.1974, D. Matile ( MNHN #6180): 1/1 (fair). Eritrea, Asmara, Amba Galliono, no host, 8.iv.1948, no coll. ( BMNH): 1/2 (fair); Asmara, on Chrysanthemum   ?fentescens (almost certainly frutescens   ), 9.i.1949, G. De Lotto ( BMNH): 1/5 (good). Ethiopia, Awasa, on Coffea arabica   , 1.v.1970, G.M. Shitaye ( BMNH): 1/1 (fair; misidentified as C. rubens   ). Gabon, Kougouleu, on petiole of Dacryodes edulis   , 28.x.1981, P.D. Manser ( MNHN #10610): 2/4 (fair-good). Guinea, Sangaria [Kindia], on Coffea robusta   , 10.xii.1952, R. Pujol ( MNHN #9033): 2/2 (good). Kenya, Nairobi, no host, 11.v.1988, J.H. Martin ( BMNH): 1/5 (fair to poor); Limuru, on coffee, no date, W.B. Gurney ( USNM): 2/3; Risley, on Coffea   ?caneformis (almost certainly canephora   ) H.C. James ( BMNH): 2/2 (poor); Limuru, on coffee, -. ix.1935, W.B. Gurney ( USNM): 2/3. Madagascar, Mandraka [Mandrara], on Cedrela sp.   , 12.vi.1973, F. Brunck ( BMNH): 2/2 (poor). Malawi, Nyika, Chilinda Bridge, on Pentas schimperiana   , 7.vii.1966, C.J. Hodgson ( BMNH): 1/1 (fair to good). Nigeria, Enugu, on Citrus sp.   , no date, J.O. Uzo ( BMNH): 1/3 (fair to good); Ngotoge, on Coffea arabica   , 24.iv.1965, no coll. ( BMNH): 2/4 (1 good, 2 very old and sclerotised, 1 young but poor). Rwanda, Kigali, -. vi.1938, Coffea robusta, J. Ghesquière   #6878 ( MNHN, TERV): 2/2 (fair-poor). São Tomé, unknown host, 1918, A.F. De Seabra ( MNHN #5612): 5/5 (fairgood). Senegal, Simbandi Balante, on unknown host, 18.vi.1981, Etienne ( MNHN #8927): 3/3 (good); Rufisque, on Elaeis guineensis, 1951, Balachowsky ( MNHN #402): 3/7 (fair-good). Sierra Leone, Freetown, on lime, 14.xii.1924, E. Hargreaves ( BMNH): 2/3 (good). South Africa, Limpopo Province [Northern Transvaal], Letaba, on Citrus sp.   , -. viii.1954, no coll. ( BMNH): 1/2 (fair to very poor); Eastern Cape, Kirkwood, no host, 30.iv.1986, S. Kambarov ( BMNH): 1/1 (good). Sudan, Gilo, on Coffea arabica   branches, 1.viii.1962, H. Schmutterer ( BMNH): 1/3 (mainly good); Yambio E.F., on coffee, 25.xi.1963, Mr. Hall ( BMNH): 1/2 (fair-poor; misidentified as C. rubens   ). Tanzania [Tanganyika], Bukoba, on Coffea arabica   , 22.ix.1926, A.H. Ritchie ( BMNH): 1/3 (good); Burka, Arosha, on Coffea arabica   , 17.iv.1933, A.H. Ritchie ( BMNH): 2/6 (fair-good). Uganda, no data other than “Colonial Office, Ent. Res. Com. (Trop. Africa) No xxi” and “ C. ceriferus   det. by R. Newstead” ( BMNH): 2/2 (poor, in bits; identified as C. ceriferus Anderson   but clearly C. brevicauda   – for a discussion of this material see under C. ceriferus   ). Democratic Republic of the Congo [ Belgian Congo], Mongalla, on coffee, 9.iii.1929, W. Rutledge ( BMNH): 1/1 (fair-good); Lumbumbashi [E’ville], -. viii.1948, on orange, D. Sayer ( BMNH): 1/3 (fair to poor); Nioka, -. vi.1938, Coffea excelsa, J. Ghesquière   ( MNHM #6797, 6456): 2/3 (fair); Kivu, Mulundu [spelt Mulungu], -. v.1938, Coffea arabica, J. Ghesquière   #6612E ( MNHN; TERV): 4/10 (fair-good); Rutshuru, -. v.1938, Coffea arabica, J. Ghesquière   #6641 ( MNHN): 1/2 (fair-good, with many parasitoids); as previous, -. iii.1938, J. Ghesquière #4216 ( MNHN, TERV): 3/6 (fair-good); Rungu, -. iv.1938, Coffea arabica, J. Ghesquière   #6314 ( MNHN, TERV): 2/2 (fair-poor); Kivu, Kahunola, -. vii.1937, on Coffea sp.   , J. Ghesquière #4150 ( MNHN, TERV): 3/10 (good-poor); Kwandruma, -. vii.1937, Coffea sp.   , J. Ghesquière #4132 ( MNHN, TERV): 2/6 (fair-good); no data, J. Ghesquière #7222 ( MNHN, TERV): 2/8 (good); Lubumbashi [Elisabethville], no date or host, received BMNH Feb. 1935, Ch. Seydal ( BMNH): 2/5 (good-poor); Kangu, on manderinier (mandarin), Sept. 1914, Mayne ( BMNH): 2/7 (fair-poor). Zambia, Kitwe, on Citrus sinensis, Dec. 1962   , K. Wilson ( BMNH): 1/2 (poor); Chilanga, on citrus, 7.ii.1972, R. Raemackers ( BMNH): 2/7 (young ads, fair-good). Zimbabwe [S. Rhodesia], Municipal Park, Mutare [Umtali], on Cedrela toona   , 9.vi.1929, W.J. Hall ( BMNH): 1/4 (good).

Note. Description made mainly from the type series; data in brackets from some of the other specimens.

Unmounted material. "...differs from typical destructor   in the following points: 1. Denuded of wax the adult female, instead of being more or less pyriform in outline, is very nearly circular. It is very highly convex and uniformly rounded — only very slightly longer than broad. Lateral tubercles entirely absent. 2. The caudal process is rudimentary, being represented by a very small triangular projection. In destructor   , the caudal process is half as long as the body and stout. 3. In old females, the dermis is uniformly chitinised except for a small area round the base of the caudal process. This small hyaline area is characteristic and distinguishes it at once from typical destructor   and other species — with the exception of helichrysi   .” ( Hall, 1931: 293).

Mounted material. Body roundly oval and convex, with distinct, shallow, stigmatic clefts; dorsum without tubercles. Caudal process broad and stout, more or less unsclerotised, but with anal plates near posterior margin. Length 1.8–4.0 mm; greatest width of venter 1.35–3.5 mm.

Dorsum. Derm membranous but becoming sclerotised on old specimens, except for caudal process which is only lightly sclerotised in young specimens; on oldest individuals, caudal process only about as sclerotised as rest of dorsum and appearing rather uniform in structure without pores or setae; anal cleft with a band of heavier sclerotisation along margins laterad to anal plates. Caudal process about 380–510 µm wide but margins often not clearly defined; often appearing significantly wider than long on mounted specimens. Derm with 8 clear areas, each without simple pores or dorsal setae. Dorsal setae each bluntly spinose and rather cylindrical, each distinctly longer than width of basal socket (length 6.5–9.0 µm; basal socket width 4.0–4.5 µm); sides slightly convergent or parallel, with a blunt apex; present rather sparsely throughout except absent from clear areas. Dorsal pores: (i) loculate microducts of complex type, each with 2–4 satellite loculi; those with 3 satellite loculi most abundant, those with 2 or 4 about equally frequent but much fewer; each pore mainly 5–6 µm wide (larger than basal socket of dorsal setae); frequent throughout but absent from all clear areas; wax-plate lines not detected, and (ii) simple microducts apparently restricted to a marginal line, each with a sclerotised orifice, very small, each about 1 µm wide. Preopercular pores: 10–14 (10–18) present in a transverse line; some specimens with a short seta-like structure towards outside of each group. Anal plates each 135–155 (128–153) µm long, width of both plates combined 130–135 µm; each plate with 2 long dorsal setae (sometimes appearing to be slightly capitate), plus 2 shorter setae nearer apex; longest setae 50–55 µm, shortest setae 10–18 µm long. Anal ring setae each 100–115 µm long. Anal tube subequal to length of anal plates.

Margin. Marginal setae each strongly setose but not flagellate; most about 10–18 µm long but longer and stouter in stigmatic clefts, where 20–27 µm long; separation from submarginal setae difficult but latter thought to be shorter, only about 10–12 µm long; number around margin uncertain but with perhaps 6 or 7 between clefts; each group of stigmatic setae with 0–6 larger marginal setae in a group on each side; each anal lobe with 1 seta about 55 µm long, generally appearing to be set some distance away from each anal lobe along margin. Stigmatic clefts fairly shallow but distinct, each with a roughly round to triangular group of conical stigmatic setae, each group about as long as wide, some setae quite pointed, others with a very round apex; most with rather convex margins and almost no sign of a basal flange; with 23–45 (22–57) setae in each cleft; rather variable in size, more dorsal setae tending to be larger, and generally with 1–3 noticeably larger setae (largest, at apex of group, occasional with a divided apex); smallest stigmatic setae each 10 µm long and 8 µm wide, largest setae up to 23 µm wide and 18–20 µm long. Eyespots each about 32–34 µm wide.

Venter. Derm entirely membranous. Pregenital disc-pores abundant around genital opening (segment VII) and across preceding segment ( VI); segment V with a few pores medially plus a large group mediolaterally; segment IV rarely with a pore mediolaterally; absent on more anterior segments. Spiracular disc-pores present in broad bands that widen towards margin but are rarely as wide as stigmatic group; each band with about 50–90 pores, those nearest margin slightly larger and more sclerotised; few or none extending medially past peritreme. Ventral microducts showing nothing distinctive. Ventral tubular ducts absent medially anterior to antennae but frequent posteriorly associated with anogenital folds in segments IV–VII (II on Nigerian material). Submarginal setae infrequent and hard to separate from marginal setae, each 10–12 µm long.

Antennae short, 6 segmented, generally without pseudo-articulations in segment III; total length 205–235 (170–230) µm. Clypeolabral shield about 185–205 µm long. Spiracles: width of peritremes 55–70 (45–70) µm. Legs relatively small, each without a tibio-tarsal articulatory sclerosis; each claw without a denticle; claw digitules of different sizes, 1 much larger than other, and shorter than tarsal digitules; dimensions of metathoracic legs (µm): coxa 60–66; trochanter + femur 90–100 (75–95), tibia 53–70, tarsus 45–55, and claw 10–17.

Discussion. C. brevicauda   and C. destructor   can be easily separated by: (i) the form of the caudal process, which is usually heavily sclerotised, elongate and broad on mature C. destructor   , extending posteriorly, whereas on mature C. brevicauda   it is located dorsally, is relatively small and much less sclerotised than on most Ceroplastes species   ; (ii) the shape of the stigmatic setae which, on C. brevicauda   , expand only very slightly (if at all) at the base whereas most have a very distinct basal flange on C. destructor   , and (iii) the dorsal setae are not capitate on C. brevicauda   whereas many are on C. destructor   .

De Lotto (1965) synonymised C. luteolus   with C. brevicauda   . It is clear that these 2 species are very similar but the present study suggests that they should perhaps be considered distinct. In particular, the caudal process on C. brevicauda   is never more than rather weakly sclerotised whereas on C. luteolus   it is strongly sclerotised, even on young specimens (e.g., holotype).

Variation: the material from Nigeria appeared very similar apart from the distribution of the tubular ducts on the abdomen, which were present as far forward as at least segment II. The old specimens on 1 of the slides had the dorsum strongly sclerotised but the caudal process still appeared less sclerotised than the rest of the dorsum. The specimens from Democratic Republic of the Congo (MNHN #7222) have very few stigmatic setae.

C. brevicauda   appears to be a rather common and widespread species, having been recorded from Angola ( De Lotto, 1967a), Benin, Cameroon, Comoros Is, Côte d’Ivoire ( Ben-Dov et al., 2011), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. It has been recorded on 16 plant families: Anacardiaceae   , Apocynaceae   , Aquifoliaceae   , Asteraceae   , Bignoniaceae   , Euphorbiaceae   , Fabaceae   , Loranthaceae   , Meliaceae   , Moraceae   , Myricaceae   , Myrtaceae, Palmae   , Pittosporaceae   , Plumbaginaceae   , Rubiaceae   and Rutaceae   , and appears to be a pest on coffee and citrus. Cilliers (1967) made an extensive study of its biology and natural enemies in South Africa, mainly on citrus, and Le Pelley (1968) discussed its biology and pest status on coffee, pointing out that, although it had been recorded from Kenya, it had yet to be found on coffee there.


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


John May Museum of Natural History


Mykotektet, National Veterinary Institute














Ceroplastes brevicauda Hall

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

Ceroplastes luteolus

De Lotto, G. 1965: 196

Ceroplastes brevicauda

De Lotto, G. 1965: 181
De Lotto, G. 1955: 267

Gascardia brevicauda (Hall)

Ben-Dov, Y. 1993: 22
Couturier, G. & Matile-Ferrero, D. & Richard, C. 1985: 275
Almeida, D. M. de 1973: 4
De Lotto, G. 1967: 111
De Lotto, G. 1965: 196
De Lotto, G. 1955: 267

Ceroplastes destructor var. brevicauda

Hall, W. J. 1931: 293