Ceroplastes destructor Newstead

Hodgson, Chris J. & Peronti, Ana L. B. G., 2012, 3372, Zootaxa 3372, pp. 1-265: 53-58

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Ceroplastes destructor Newstead


Ceroplastes destructor Newstead  

( Figs 2, 33, 34; Map fig. 103)

Ceroplastes ceriferus (Anderson)   ; Lindinger, 1907: 359; Lindinger, 1913: 80 (misidentifications).

Ceroplastes ceriferus (Anderson)   ; Newstead, 1910a: 66; Newstead, 1911b: 167 (misidentifications).

Ceroplastes   ? ceriferus (Anderson)   ; Newstead, 1910b: 195 (misidentification).

Ceroplastes destructor Newstead, 1917: 26   .

Ceroplastes destructor Newstead   ; Ben-Dov, 1993: 30.

Gascardia destructor (Newstead)   ; De Lotto, 1965: 181, 200; De Lotto, 1967a: 111; Hodgson, 1969a: 24; De Lotto, 1971: 136.

Material examined: Lectotype ♀ (designated by Williams & Watson, 1990). Uganda: left label: Colonial Office / Ent. Res, Com. (Trop. Afr.) / no. 467 / on Antigonon sp. / Botanical garden / Entebbe / C.C. Gowdey / 24.II.10; right label: Ceroplastes   / ugandae (crossed out) / Newst. (crossed out), Co-type female (crossed out), destructor Newstead   (in different handwriting), ceriferus (in red and crossed out), BM 1945, 121 – with a lectotype label stuck on (but see Discussion below).

Also: Angola, Nova Lisboa, on Cassia sp.   , no date, P. Carvalho ( SANC #5125): 11/11 (good); as previous but on Coffea sp.   , 10.vii.1972, L. Amorim ( SANC #4832): 5/5 (good). Botswana?, Bechuanaland, Cape Province, on Melia azedarach, Oct. 1918   , Brain #336 ( USNM): 3/3. Cameroon, Bilik, on Entandrophragma cylindricum   , no coll. ( BMNH, No. 73Ka42): 2/5 (young, good, misidentified as C. brevicauda   ); Santa, on coffee, 31.i.1957, V. Eastop ( BMNH): 2/3 (good-poor). Côte d’Ivoire, Tai, piste en fôret primaire, on indeterminate shoot, 3.ii.1985, G. Couturier ( MNHN #10322): 1/1 (good). Gambia, Kenbuyeng, on twigs, -. vi.1979, Sahel Program RHL 26-79 ( USNM): 2/4 (good). Guinea, Sérédou, Quinquina ledgeriana   (= Cinchona   ), 8.xii.1957, R. Pujol ( MNHN

#14782): 3/3 (fair); Sérédou, on Voacanga africana   , -. xii.1957, R. Pujol ( MNHN #5904): 3/3 (fair). Kenya, Thika, on pepper tree, 19.ii.1973, R. Bardner ( BMNH): 2/3 (good); Kilimo House, on citrus, 4.ix.1980 ( BMNH): 2/ 2 (fair-poor); no site, on Thevetia neriifolia   , no date, T.J. Anderson ( BMNH): 2/3 (fair-good). Madagascar, Tsimbazaza, 2.viii.1952, on Psychotria sp.   , R. Paulian ( BMNH): 1/2 (fair-poor). Malawi, Zomba, no date, on Cedrela toona   , C. Smee ( BMNH): 2/3 (fair, misidentified as C. ceriferus   ); as previous but on Coffea sp.   ( BMNH): 1/1 (fair; misidentified as C. ceriferus   ). Rwanda, Rwaza, -. iv.1938, Citrus sp.   , L. Ghesquière #6300 ( MNHN, TERV): 2/2 (good); Ruhengeri, -. iv.1938, on coffee, J. Ghesquière #6295 ( TERV): dried material; Astrida (Butare), on coffee, -. iv.1938, J. Ghesquière #6326 ( MNHN): 1/1 (good). São Tomé, coffee, 1918, A.F. De Seabra ( MNHN #5613): 2/2 (fair); Navel, on Coffea liberica   , 1919, no coll. ( MNHN #14787): 4/4 (fair). Sierra Leone, on myrtle, Oct. 1907, Dr. Kennan ( BMNH): 2/2 (fair-good; labelled Ceroplastes myrtilli Newst.   , a manuscript name). South Africa, Swethendam [?Swellendam], 29.viii.2009, Diospyros whyteana, J. Giliomee (BMNH, SANC)   : 2/6 (fairpoor); Western Cape Province, Vermont, 16.viii.2009, Sideroxylon inerme, J. Giliomee (NMW)   : 2/2 (poor); Guanteng Province [Transvaal], Pretoria, Groenkloof, 21.iv.2009, Euclea sp.   , C.J. Hodgson ( NMW): 1/1(good); as previous but on Rhus lanceolata, (NMW)   : 3/6 (good); KwaZulu-Natal, on Schinus terebinthifolius   , -. xii.1956, N.L.H. Krauss ( USNM): 1/4 (fair); “Transvaal”, on custard apple and avocado, -. ix.1915, D. Gunn ( USNM): 4/4 (fair); “Transvaal”, on guava, -. x.1917, J. Hodgson ( USNM): 1/2 (fair). Sudan, Wadups, on Coffea canephora   , 2.i.1961, H. Schmutterer ( BMNH): 5/7 (good-fair). Uganda, Entebbe, on guava ( Psidium guajava   ), 23.viii.1912, C.C. Gowdey ( BMNH): 1/1 (fair-good, from “ type lot”); Kampala, “digwalima”, 14.iv.1927, H. Hargreaves ( BMNH): 1/2 (good));?Uganda, Kagulu, on coffee, 8.x.1946, M. Senambia ( BMNH): 1/3 (fair). Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eala, 21.iii.1931, [Leptoretinos] sp., J. Ghesquière #4022 ( MNHN, TERV): 2/3 (fair); Lubumbashi [Elisabethville], on Schinus postperlucidus   , no date, Mons. Ringoot (per R. Mayné) ( BMNH): 1/1 (good; identified as Ceroplastes postperlucidus Green   , a manuscript name); Kolo, ex coffee, 13.xi.1935, J. Ghesquière #2502 ( MNHN, TERV): 2/5 (fair-good). Zambia, Chilalabombwe, on orange ( Citrus aurantium   ), 21.v.1985, no coll. ( BMNH): 1/1 (good). Zimbabwe [Southern Rhodesia], Inyanga, no host, 30.x.37, W.J. Hall ( BMNH): 2/16 (poor); Imbeza, on Gymnosporia (Maytenus)   sp., 2.iii.1928, E.E. Green ( IBSP): 1/3 (good).

Unmounted material. "Female test white, creamy white or dirty white; exceedingly soft and containing an excess of moisture. Form irregular, with large but ill-defined gibbose protuberances; sides normally with two narrow opaque lines of secretion from the stigmatic clefts. No trace of lateral plates. Length 5–8 mm." ( Newstead, 1917: 26).

Mounted material. Body oval, rather convex, with shallow, stigmatic clefts; dorsum with distinct tubercles. Caudal process on mature adults long and very broad at base but shorter and narrower on youngest specimens. Length about 3.0–6.0 mm, total width of mounted specimen 2.0– 3.5 mm.

Dorsum. Derm entirely membranous on young adults, except for caudal process which becomes more heavily sclerotised and longer with increasing age. Caudal process 0.5–2.43 mm long, 0.8–2.73 mm wide at base; slightly constricted near apex; with sparse loculate microducts, mainly towards base; ventrally with a few dorsal setae and loculate microducts along anal cleft groove on ventral surface. Derm with eight clear areas, distributed as usual, each without setae. Dorsal setae each cylindrical or even slightly knobbed, each slightly longer than width of basal-socket (length 6.5–7.5 µm; basal socket width 6.0–6.5 µm); frequent throughout. Dorsal pores: (i) loculate microducts of complex type, each with a primary loculus and 1–3 satellite loculi; those with 2 satellite loculi by far most abundant and about 6 µm widest; distributed apparently randomly and sparsely throughout but absent from all clear areas; wax-plate lines not detected; and (ii) simple microducts present marginally. Preopercular pores each slightly convex, in a transverse band of 9–14 pores. Anal plates each with 2 pairs of long dorsal setae, each 50–65 µm long with a blunt apex which sometimes even appears capitate, plus a shorter dorsal seta nearer apex, about 25 µm long, and a small apical seta about 13–20 µm long; length of plates 124–150 µm, width of both plates combined 155–200 µm. Anal tube about 2.5–3 times longer than anal plates.

Margin. Marginal setae strongly setose, each seta about 20 µm long; frequency uncertain but few; anal lobes each with a single longer seta about 50 µm long, on ventral surface of caudal process about half-way along length. Stigmatic clefts shallow, each with a compact triangular to oval group of stigmatic setae of rather characteristic shape, each roundly to sharply cone-shaped but most with a broad basal flange; each group wider than long and 6+ setae deep; each group with a larger seta near apex on dorsum but size of setae otherwise highly variable; each group with 44–90 stigmatic setae of which about 11–22 along margin; setae along margin of each group more or less restricted to within each cleft; largest setae each 20–27 µm long, 18–22 µm wide at base, rather longer than wide; other setae smaller, smallest 8 µm long, 6.0–8.0 µm wide at base. Eyespots each about 35 µm wide, usually with 1 or 2 marginal setae near eyespot margin.

Venter. Derm entirely membranous. Pregenital disc-pores abundant around genital opening and across preceding segment (segment VI); apparently absent on segment V and on more anterior segments. Spiracular discpores in rather narrow bands but pores quite dense near peritreme, becoming sparser nearer margin, where each band broadens considerably; each band with 100–130 pores; disc-pores not extending medially past peritreme. Ventral microducts each 3.0–3.5 µm widest; submarginal band clearly extending to anal lobes which lie about halfway along ventral surface of caudal process. Ventral tubular ducts absent from cephalic region but rather abundant submedially on abdomen associated with anogenital fold and medially on segments IV–VI; each with only a very short inner ductule without a glandular end. Submarginal setae more frequent than marginal setae, each 11–15 µm long.

Antennae each with 6 segments, with few signs of pseudo-articulations in segment III; total length 230–270 µm. Clypeolabral shield about 150–165 µm long. Spiracles: width of peritremes 55–90 µm. Legs well developed but proportionately rather small; each without a tibio-tarsal articulatory sclerosis; each claw probably without a denticle; claw digitules dissimilar, 1 broad and other narrow, both slightly shorter than tarsal digitules; dimensions of metathoracic legs (µm): coxa 75–80; trochanter + femur 105; tibia 55–70; tarsus 45–52, and claw 15–17.

Discussion. For a discussion of the C. destructor   -group, see under C. brevicauda   .

The above description agrees quite closely with that of De Lotto (1965) except that each anal plate appears to have only 2 large setae + 2 smaller seta rather than 3 large setae as he illustrated. Within the Afrotropical Ceroplastes   fauna, the shape of the stigmatic setae of C. destructor   is very distinctive. De Lotto (1971: 147) speculated that C. brevicauda   might be “either a synonym of C. destructor   , or only a paedogenetic form of it.” Although it is clear that these 2 species are extremely close, all specimens with a long, broad caudal process seen during this study (and therefore considered to be C. destructor   ) had stigmatic setae with a broad basal flange (and vice versa – no mature specimens with a short caudal process (and therefore considered to be C. brevicauda   ) had stigmatic setae with a flange) — and so we are here treating them as separate species. The differences are discussed further under C. brevicauda   above.

However, there is a problem with regard to the choice of the lectotype specimen. Newstead initially identified this species as Ceroplastes ceriferus (Anderson)   ( Newstead, 1910a: 66; 1910b: 195). Later, Newstead (1917) wrote “With a more extensive series of specimens, in all stages, one has been able to gather that the Uganda insect is in many ways remarkably distinct ….” It was from these later specimens that he described the new species. There is little doubt, from his description, that the specimens he saw were what is now understood as C. destructor   . However, he did not give any collection details for these latter specimens. As discussed above under C. ceriferus   , the material identified by Newstead as C. ceriferus   is here believed to refer to C. destructor   and C. brevicauda   . As indicated in the previous paragraph, these 2 species are very similar. C. brevicauda   was not described until much later ( Hall, 1931) but is now known to be very widespread in Africa (see Maps). There are 4 specimens in the BMNH that might have been available to Newstead: one, labelled: left: “ Uganda, Entebbe, on guava, 23.viii.1912, C.C. Gowdey (No. 4373 with No. 4374), and right: Ceroplastes destructor Newstead   , from Type lot”, is here considered to be C. destructor   , as is another labelled: left: “On coffee, Entebbe, Uganda, C.C. Gowdey, 1910.362. Mounted from material named by Prof. Newstead; right Ceroplastes ceriferus Anderson   , and in pencil = destructor Newst.   27.x.1915 ” (poor). The other 2 slides are only labelled “ Uganda, Colonial Office, Ent. Res. Com. (Trop. Africa) No xxi” and “ C. ceriferus   det. R. Newstead” and are poor and broken into bits but nonetheless are here considered to refer to C. brevicauda   . Thus it would appear that Newstead had specimens of both C. destructor   and C. brevicauda   , both of which he identified as C. ceriferus   . Unfortunately, in neither his 1910a (as C. ceriferus   ) nor 1910b paper (as C.? ceriferus   ) did Newstead give any specific collection data, apart from the number “C.C. Gowdey, no 467”. This number (present on the lectotype slide label) cannot actually refer to the specimens that Newstead used for his description as the latter were collected later (i.e. “With a more extensive series….”). None of the “key” characters that diagnose C. destructor   (rather capitate dorsal setae and stigmatic setae with a wide flange) can be seen on the lectotype specimen, which suggests that it is a specimen of C. brevicauda   . Interestingly, in his letter to Newstead with the specimens that Newstead discussed in his 1910a paper, Gowdey states that this Ceroplastes   attacked a wide range of hosts, but occurred in sufficiently large quantities on coffee to be of economic importance ( Newstead, 1910a). Although C. destructor   has been recorded on coffee, it is C. brevicauda   which is most commonly recorded on coffee and which is considered a pest (see Le Pelley, 1968). Because our current understanding of both C. brevicauda   and C. destructor   is clear, nothing has been done about this problem here but the slide discussed above on guava from Uganda, which is clearly C. destructor   although only in fair condition, is a suitable specimen if the present lectotype designation could be made void.

The two specimens from Sierra Leone labelled C. myrtilli   were small and the caudal process was much less sclerotised. It is here assumed that the sclerotisation of the caudal process continues as the adult female swells towards sexual maturation, as suggested previously by De Lotto (1971) and therefore that these specimens were young adults. The specimens from Sierra Leone also differed from previous descriptions in that the most dorsal large stigmatic seta was bifid on both specimens, sometimes very obviously. The specimens from Kolo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, had rather heavily sclerotised caudal processes but otherwise were identical   .

C. destructor   is known from the Austro-oriental, Australian, Afrotropical, New Zealand & South Pacific, and Oriental Regions. Within the Afrotropical Region, it is known from Angola ( De Lotto, 1967a), Cameroon ( Ben-Dov et al., 2011), Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda, São Tomé, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe; also from the Azores. It has now been recorded from the following plant families: Acanthaceae   ; Actinidiaceae   ; Anacardiaceae   ; Apocynaceae   ; Araliaceae   ; Asteraceae   ; Celastraceae   ; Ebenaceae   ; Ericaceae   ; Euphorbiaceae   ; Lauraceae   ; Loganiaceae   ; Loranthaceae   ; Magnoliaceae   ; Malvaceae   ; Meliaceae   ; Myrsinaceae   ; Myrtaceae   ; Pittosporaceae   ; Rosaceae   ; Rubiaceae   ; Sapindaceae   ; Sapotaceae   ; Solanaceae   ; Sterculiaceae   and Theaceae   . Its biology in South Africa was studied by Cilliers (1967) and its biology and pest status on coffee was reviewed by Le Pelley (1968). Its natural enemies in South Africa were surveyed by Snowball (1969).


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien


Instituto Biologico de Sao Paulo














Ceroplastes destructor Newstead

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

Ceroplastes destructor

Ben-Dov, Y. 1993: 30

Gascardia destructor (Newstead)

De Lotto, G. 1971: 136
Hodgson, C. J. 1969: 24
De Lotto, G. 1967: 111
De Lotto, G. 1965: 181

Ceroplastes destructor

Newstead, R. 1917: 26

Ceroplastes ceriferus (Anderson)

Newstead, R. 1911: 167
Newstead, R. 1910: 66


Newstead, R. 1910: 195

Ceroplastes ceriferus (Anderson)

Lindinger, L. 1913: 80
Lindinger, L. 1907: 359