Ceroplastes eucleae Brain

Hodgson, Chris J. & Peronti, Ana L. B. G., 2012, 3372, Zootaxa 3372, pp. 1-265: 107-112

publication ID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Ceroplastes eucleae Brain


Ceroplastes eucleae Brain  

( Figs 53, 54; Map fig. 104; Table 2)

Ceroplastes eucleae Brain, 1920b: 30   .

Ceroplastes eucleae Brain   ; De Lotto, 1965: 181; Qin & Gullan, 1995: 293; Hodgson et al., 2009: 101.

Ceroplastes toddaliae var. spicatus Hall, 1937: 122   . Syn nov.

Ceroplastes spicatus Hall   ; Mamet, 1951: 224; 1954a: 12; De Lotto, 1965: 182; Hodgson, 1969a: 9; Qin & Gullan, 1995: 295.

Material examined. Ceroplastes eucleae Brain.   Lectotype ♀ (here designated): South Africa: (scratched on glass slide by Hall): top label: Ceroplastes   / eucleae Brain   / Pretoria / C.K. Brain No. 90 / 19.ix.1914; bottom label: ex Dept. / Agriculture / Pretoria / WJH 28.iii.30 ( BMNH): 1/2 (fair-good) (see Notes beneath Materials studied and also Discussion at end of description.).

Paralectotype ♀: remaining specimen on lectotype slide, plus: as previous ( BMNH): 4/6 (fair-poor; clearly all mounted from dried material of Brain’s original collection). Also: left label on front of slide: Pretoria / January 1915 / Miss Impey / on stems of several / native shrubs / CKB 90 (all in E.K. Hartwig’s handwriting); on reverse side of slides C.K.B. no. 90 / S. Afr. Transvaal, / Pretoria / 19.ix.1914, /? Euclea   / sp. / coll., C.K. Brain (in De Lotto’s handwriting); right label Ceroplastes   / eucleae   / syntype (in Hartwig’s handwriting) ( SANC): 5/5 (poor); also Ceroplastes eucleae   / Brain / On Veld bush / Pretoria / Miss Impey, Jan. 1915 / or C.K. Brain, Sept. 19, 1914 / Brain #90 ( USNM).

Other Syntype material: Ceroplastes eucleae   / On Euclea sp.   / Pretoria / C.P. Lounsbury Cll. / Sept. 1, 1919 / Brain #90 (slide envelope with insert stating: Type slide of: 230). Ceroplastes eucleae Brain. Cocc. S.A. Coll. No.   90) ( USNM); also: Ceroplastes   / eucleae Brain   / on Native shrubs / Pretoria, Transvaal / Miss Emprey Coll. / Jan. 1915 / Brain #342 (both collection numbers (90 & 342) are mentioned in Brain (1920b), where he gives the collector’s name as Miss E. Impey); also 342 in ink on top of slide beneath small cover-slip, and Ceroplastes   / eucleae   / Brain / Syntype on bottom paper label (probably in E. K. Hartwig’s handwriting) and, on reverse side of slide: CKB No. 342 / S. Afr., Transvaal, / Pretoria / 1915 / ex. Ochna sp.   ? / E. Impey (in De Lotto’s handwriting), slide envelope with note stating that “In Brain’s paper the date of collection is January 1915 ”) ( SANC): 1/1 (poor).

Ceroplastes spicatus Hall.   Lectotype ♀ (here designated): Zimbabwe [Southern Rhodesia]: (scratched onto glass slide) top: Ceroplastes   / toddaliae Hall   / var. spicatus   / Hall / Uapaca   / kirkiana / South Marandellas; bottom: WJH 21.x.35 / BM 1936.632 / TYPE / WJHall / 30.xii.35 ( BMNH): 1/1 (good).

Paralectotype ♀: Zimbabwe, as for type specimen ( BMNH): 3/3 (fair, mainly split into dorsum and venter or in bits)   .

Notes. 1. Because it is clear that the original syntype material of C. eucleae   is composed of several collections, the lectotype series has been restricted to the slides with Brain’s number 90 collected in 1914.

2. All of the specimens on the slides in USDA and SANC were poor. The slides in the BMNH chosen as the lectotype and paralectotypes were generally very much better and almost all of the characters could be seen. As these specimens were clearly mounted from material included in the syntype series by Brain, it was decided to designate one of these as the lectotype even though it was not deposited in SANC.

3. Hall’s slides from the BMNH were mainly used for the description below, with data for C. spicatus   in (..) brackets. Further data are given in Table 2.

Other Material examined. C. eucleae Brain   : South Africa: Pretoria, no host ( Euclea   ? Sp), 19.ix.1914, C.K. Brain No. 90 ( BMNH). Ceroplastes spicatus Hall.   Rhodesia ( Zimbabwe), South Marandella, on Uapaca   / kirkiana   , 21.x.35, W.J. Hall ( BMNH).

Cryptic sibling species: Madeira, on Strelizia, no other data ( BMNH); Malawi, Mount Mlanje, 4000’, on Bequaertiodendron megalismontanum   , 17.vii.1966, C.J. Hodgson ( BMNH); also as previous at 5400’, on Ochna lanceolata (BMNH)   .

Unmounted material of C. eucleae Brain.   "Adult female tests sometimes single on stem, often aggregated in dense masses. Test of adult female about 6 mm long, 5 mm wide, 5.5 mm high, without plaques but with the lower portion forming a wrinkled fold at the base of a highly conical dome. The colour is a delicate green, when alive, with the stigmatic bands conspicuous; when dry, it is semi-transparent, greenish yellow, with two white thin streaks on each side just above the stigmatic clefts. The central dome is pointed, without any central pit or depression, and is distinctly separated from the lower portion of the test by a groove. There is no indication of a caudal prominence on the test." "Female denuded of wax, smooth, regularly domed, without caudal prominence. Caudal prominence rudimentary". ( Brain, 1920b: 30).

Unmounted material of C. spicatus Hall.   Description taken from Hodgson (1969a) made from photographs in Hall's original description: "The waxy test is conical, surmounted by a stout and conspicuous spike, which leans anteriorly. The plates are only indistinctly indicated, and the wax is basically white, but is suffused with fine lines; these cause the areas where the lateral and anterior caudal processes near the surface of the wax to be very dark. The stigmatic bands are very clear white." "The diameter of the test is 8–10 mm, height 7–8 mm." "With wax removed, unmounted female is indistinguishable from C. toddaliae   ". ( Hall, 1937).

Mounted material. Body oval, probably rather convex, with shallow stigmatic clefts; dorsum probably with distinct tubercles. Caudal process short and stout. Length of body 1.2–4.5 (3.5–4.0) mm, total width of mounted specimens 1.2–4.0 (2.75) mm; width of venter 1.2–2.25 (2.5) mm.

Dorsum. Derm entirely membranous on young individuals except for heavily sclerotised caudal process; derm becoming more sclerotised on old individuals. Caudal process 0.38–1.13 (1.1) mm long, 0.40–1.25 (1.02–1.38) mm wide. Derm with eight clear areas, distributed as usual, mainly without dorsal setae but a few setae present in anterior area. Dorsal setae each bluntly spinose, margins almost parallel, each subequal to or slightly longer than width of basal-socket (length 4.0–5.0 (3.0–5.0) µm; basal socket width 3.5–4.0 (2.5–4.0) µm); quite frequent throughout. Dorsal pores: (i) loculate microducts of rusci-type; rusci-type pores most abundant, pores with 2 satellite loculi scarce but probably more or less restricted to wax-plate lines; pores with 3 or more satellite loculi not detected; microducts abundant throughout but absent from all clear areas; wax-plate lines fairly obvious; and (ii) simple microducts very sparse, perhaps only present in clear areas and along margins. Preopercular pores present, in a double transverse band of 15–20 (7) pores. Anal plates sometimes with a more rounded anterior margin and rounded posterior margin; length 115–140 (137–157) µm, width of single plate 65–85 (both plates combined 145–170) µm; each with 3 pairs of long dorsal setae, each about 75 µm long, plus a short subapical seta. Anal tube about as long as anal plates; anal ring setae each about 180–190 µm long.

Margin. Marginal setae strongly setose, each 20–25 (20–25) µm long; with perhaps 15–18 (18–24) between eyespots, and (on each side) 4–7 (6–9) between eyespots and anterior stigmatic setae, 2–4 (2–7) between stigmatic clefts and maybe about 8–12 (13–15) each side of abdomen; also usually with 1 or 2 amongst stigmatic setae near outer margins of clefts; each anal lobe with 3 or 4 long setae, each about 58–75 (100) µm long. Stigmatic clefts shallow, each with a line of conical stigmatic setae, line broadening to 2–4 (3) setae deep in each cleft; central, most dorsal spinose seta in each cleft largest, 15–17 (20–23) µm long; 10–12 (7–9) µm wide at base, becoming progressively smaller laterally (smallest 7–8 µm long, 6.0–7.0 µm wide at base); setae extending some distance on either side of each cleft, sometimes almost meeting between clefts; with 19–31 (16–28) marginal and 2–16 (8–18) non-marginal stigmatic setae in each cleft (totals of 23–53 (25–41) setae in each cleft); gap between stigmatic setae usually quite large but occasionally almost absent. Eyespots each 30–33 (35–40) µm wide.

Venter. Derm entirely membranous. Pregenital disc-pores each 6.5–8.0 µm widest with mainly 10 loculi, abundant around genital opening and across preceding segment but with only 0–3 medially and 0–5 submedially on V and 0–2 medially on IV; absent more anteriorly (1 on III in C. spicatus   ). Spiracular disc-pores present in broad bands of about 100–120 (50–85) pores; with none extending medially past peritreme. Ventral microducts showing nothing distinctive. Ventral tubular ducts each with a narrow inner ductule generally without an obvious terminal gland (inner ductule slightly swollen near base and sometimes arising from end of outer ductule); present in a group of about 0–9 (few–13) in cephalic region and with 0–2 mediolaterally on abdominal segments IV and V. Submarginal setae much more abundant than marginal setae, each 10–17 (11–15) µm long.

Antennae each with 6 segments, generally with a few paler areas suggesting pseudo-articulations in 3rd segment (pseudoarticulations making antennae on 1 specimen 7 segmented); total length 250–285 (318–380) µm. Clypeolabral shield about 155–170 (185) µm long. Spiracles: width of peritremes 53–65 (75–95) µm. Legs well developed, each with an obvious tibio-tarsal articulatory sclerosis; claw denticles obscure or absent; claw digitules both broad and slightly shorter than tarsal digitules; dimensions of metathoracic legs (µm): coxa 125–140 (170–182); trochanter + femur 150–175 (215–230), tibia 100–125 (135–154), tarsus 65–83 (80–100), and claw 23–26 (20–25).

Discussion. There does seem to be some muddle about which slides are actually the original type material of C. eucleae   — Brain's No. 90 appears to be composed of several lots of material. We have therefore restricted the lectotype series to material collected in 1914. Note that no host species was mentioned or labelled for these particular specimens. In Pretoria, there are 2 inventories, that of Brain (labelled “C.K. Brain, List of South African Coccid material for study collection”) and another by De Lotto (“G. De Lotto. Annotated inventory of the slides of Coccidae   , Dactylopiidae   and Pseudococcidae   ex. C.K. Brain’s collection”). It would appear from the Introductory comments in the latter that Brain was poor at labelling his slides. De Lotto wrote “The number of slides [labelled] was small; the majority were wholly or partly lacking of the collection data and/or type status; many bore the collection number only, at times written with figures unusual[ly] large as to suggest that the marking was done in a hurry or by somebody else.” In Brain’s inventory, under accession #90, is written “ Ceroplastes, White   with greenish tinge. On veld bush, Pretoria, coll. C.K.B. Sept. 19, 1914.” De Lotto’s notes for # 90 in his inventory reads as follows:

all slds with no trace of CKB’s original marking; collg data and identn lbls supplied by EKH [E.K. Hartwig] with data ex CKB’s paper (1920b: 30);

according to the accn book records, this lot was collected by him in Pretoria on Sept. 19, 1914 on a veld plant. As the specimens of lot 342 (also included in the original description of the sp.) were probably from Ochna sp.   , we may infer that those of this lot [i.e., #90] were from Euclea sp.   as the specific name chosen by CKB implies; new lbls supplied by GDL;

syntypes (5): see Ceroplastes rusci (Linn.)  

It is clear that there are some discrepancies in all of this data (i.e., in the dates: 19.ix. 1914 in De Lotto’s handwriting on his labels and January 1915 in Hartwig’s handwriting on the label on the reverse side; and also “on? Euclea sp.   ” on De Lotto’s labels and “On stems of several native shrubs” on Hartwig’s label). As it is clear that Brain originally considered that the first host plant was Euclea sp.   and Brain stated the collection date as being September 1914, it seems best to designate one of the specimens from that first collection as Lectotype. As stated above, under material studied, almost all the available specimens from this collection are very poor. The specimen chosen as the Lectotype is on a slide mounted by Hall from the original dried material and is in moderately good condition. It is considered that this specimen should be designated the Lectotype in order to fix the identity of this species.

C. eucleae   was discussed at some length by De Lotto (1978) under C. rusci (Linnaeus)   , which it rather closely resembles (indeed, as can be seen from his notes in the last paragraph, he clearly thought they were referable to C. rusci   ). After studying a long series of what he believed to be this species, De Lotto was unable to suggest any constant differences between C. rusci   and C. eucleae   (or, indeed, these 2 species and C. eugeniae   , previously only reported from Zimbabwe but which De Lotto (1978) considered might be the most common species in South Africa). The specimens of C. rusci   L. from the Mediterranean studied here all had a distinct denticle on each claw whereas distinct denticles appeared to be absent from the material of what is here believed to be C. rusci   from South Africa. However, it is clear that C. eucleae   , which also lacks distinct claw denticles, is very close to C. rusci   , sharing with it generally fewer than 35 stigmatic setae in each cleft, but differs in having: (i) the stigmatic setae in each cleft almost invariably 3 deep (2 deep in most C. rusci   ) and (ii) more marginal setae anteriorly between the eyespots (generally more than 14 rather than less than 14 as on C. rusci   ). All 3 species ( C. eucleae   , C. eugeniae   and C. rusci   ) are very similar to C. myricae   redescribed below but, on the basis of our present knowledge, C. myricae   can be most easily separated by the much greater number of ventral tubular ducts in the cephalic region (see Table 4).

C. eucleae   is also very close to C. eugeniae   . Indeed, it is likely that De Lotto would have synonymised these 2 species were it not that Brain (1920b) described the colour of the wax test of the former as being light green whereas that of C. eugeniae   is believed to be whitish. However, here we are taking the view that these 2 species, although very close, are different (for a comparison, see under C. eugeniae   below). With regard to the green colour of the wax mentioned by Brain, one of us (ALBGP) has noted that the wax on some wax scale insects can appear pale green when parasitised. As far as the authors are aware, Ceroplastes species   with pale green wax have not been collected in the northeast South Africa [the old ‘Transvaal’] since the “ type ” series and so perhaps those specimens were parasitised.

After a long and careful study of the type series of C. spicatus   , no constant differences could be found between it and C. eucleae   as understood here. The limb measurements of C. spicatus   are larger but we consider this to be an environmental effect and here synonymise C. spicatus   with C. eucleae   .

Based on our present knowledge, C. eucleae   has been recorded from South Africa and Zimbabwe on Uapaca kirkiana   ( Euphorbiaceae   ) and Euclea sp.   , although Brain (1920b) also lists? Pavetta sp.   ( Rubiaceae   ).

Cryptic or sibling species. Hall (in Mamet, 1951) identified some material from Madagascar as C. spicatus   ( Madagascar, Tsimbazaza, on “Arina”, Sept. 1949, R. Paulian (BMNH): 2/2 (poor)). These slides were too poor to identify with certainty but are close to C. eucleae   . In addition, Hall (in Mamet, 1954a) also identified further material from Madagascar as C. spicatus   ( Madagascar, Périnet, on Haronga madagascariensis   , 27.v.1950, R. Mamet & A. Robinson (BMNH): 1/1). A specimen on which this identification was based was seen during this study. Although not in very good condition, no tubular ducts could be detected in the cephalic region and so it seems unlikely that this specimen is C. spicatus   . A single slide from Madeira (Madeira, on Strelitzia   , no other data (BMNH): 1/1 (good)) also seems to be close to C. eucleae   , whereas several specimens collected in Malawi ( Malawi, Mount Mlanje, 4000’, on Bequaertiodendron (Englerophytum) megalismontanum   , 17.vii.1966, C.J. Hodgson (BMNH): 1/1 (good, as C. toddaliae   ); also as previous at 5400’, on Ochna lanceolata (BMNH)   : 1/1 (fair, as C. toddaliae   ); as previous at 6500’, on Euclea sp.   , 19.vii.1966, C.J. Hodgson (BMNH): 2/2 (good-fair, as C. toddaliae   )) appear to be intermediate between C. eucleae   and C. toddaliae   / C. eugeniae   . The stigmatic setae on all of these specimens tend to meet on each side between the clefts but there are relatively few non-marginal stigmatic setae and the total number of stigmatic setae also appears to be rather low.


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History














Ceroplastes eucleae Brain

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

Ceroplastes eucleae

Hodgson, C. J. & Williams, D. J. & Giliomee, J. H. 2009: 101
Qin, T. K. & Gullan, P. J. 1995: 293
De Lotto, G. 1965: 181

Ceroplastes spicatus

Qin, T. K. & Gullan, P. J. 1995: 295
Hodgson, C. J. 1969: 9
De Lotto, G. 1965: 182
Mamet, J. R. 1954: 12
Mamet, J. R. 1951: 224

Ceroplastes toddaliae var. spicatus

Hall, W. J. 1937: 122

Ceroplastes eucleae

Brain, C. K. 1920: 30