Ceroplastes balachowskyi Hodgson & Peronti

Hodgson, Chris J. & Peronti, Ana L. B. G., 2012, 3372, Zootaxa 3372, pp. 1-265: 101-103

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Ceroplastes balachowskyi Hodgson & Peronti

spec. nov.

Ceroplastes balachowskyi Hodgson & Peronti   , spec. nov.

( Fig. 51; Map fig. 104)

Material examined: Holotype ♀: Gabon, Makokou , Ivindo, host unknown, 19.xii.1976, A.S. Balachowsky ( MNHN #5875 View Materials ): 1/1 (good).  

Paratype ♀: as for holotype ( MNHN #5875 View Materials ): 4/4 (good–fair)   .

Unmounted material. Unknown.

Mounted material. Body rather roundly oval and probably fairly convex, with shallow stigmatic clefts; lateral tubercles indistinct or absent. Caudal process short and stout, probably directed rather upwards. Length of specimens 1.5–3.0 mm, width about 1.0–2.0 mm.

Dorsum. Derm membranous apart from heavily sclerotised caudal process. Caudal process probably approximately round and 650–900 µm wide, 500–570 µm long. Derm with 8 clear areas but dorsal clear area huge, extending laterally to dorsad to coxae; marginal clear areas with very few dorsal setae but dorsal setae frequent on dorsal clear area. Dorsal setae each short with sides either more or less parallel to slightly convergent, each subequal to or shorter than width of basal socket, length 2.5–3.5 µm, basal socket width 4–5 µm; frequent throughout including all clear areas as above. Dorsal pores: (i) loculate microducts of rusci-type abundant, each about 6–7 µm widest; pores with 2 satellite loculi rare or even perhaps sometimes absent; pores with 3 or more satellite loculi absent; wax plate lines absent; and (ii) simple microducts very sparse in all clear areas, each with a sclerotised rim; occasional elsewhere. Preopercular pores present in an elongate band of about 18–26, each band 1–2 wide. Anal plates together almost circular, each plate 125–135 µm long, width of both plates combined 130–150 µm, each with 3 large dorsal setae (2 very close to inner margin and 1 near posterior margin), each seta 65–85 µm long, possibly with a blunt apex; plus a short subapical seta on dorsal surface well away from margin, each about 16 µm long. Anal tube about 1.0–1.5 times longer than length of anal plates; anal ring setae about 140 µm long.

Margin. Marginal setae strongly setose, each about 12–22 µm long; with 8–10 between eyespots on head, and (on each side) 2 between each eyespot and anterior stigmatic setae, 2 or 3 setae between stigmatic areas, and perhaps 8–10 on each side of abdomen; each anal lobe with 3 or 4 longer setae, longest about 65 µm long. Stigmatic clefts shallow; stigmatic setae rather variable in size, most about 5–9 µm long, 5–8 µm wide at base, each rather pointed conical; with 8–18 between eyespots anteriorly, plus in a line running from each eyespot to about half-way along abdominal margin posteriorly, more or less without a gap between clefts; each anterior cleft with about 28–33 marginal setae plus 10–19 non-marginal stigmatic setae and each posterior cleft with about 30–47 marginal setae plus 12–18 non-marginal stigmatic setae (totals per side 83–115); non-marginal stigmatic setae in each cleft forming a shallow triangle 3 or 4 setae deep; each group with about 5 small non-marginal setae similar to those on margin, 3 or 4 larger setae (each 8–13 µm long and 8–10 µm wide, with a more rounded apex) plus 1 even larger seta at apex of each group, each 12–14 µm long and 10–12 µm wide, with apex either rounded or slightly pointed. Eyespots each about 30–33 µm wide.

Venter. Derm entirely membranous. Pregenital disc-pores abundant around genital opening (segment VII) and across preceding segment, and with 0–3 medially and 5–12 on each side mediolaterally of segment V; absent more anteriorly. Spiracular disc-pores present in broad bands of about 60–80, each band not broadening significantly near margin; with none extending medially past spiracular apodemes. Ventral microducts showing nothing distinctive. Ventral tubular ducts absent in cephalic region and mainly absent on abdomen (1 noted on one side of 2 specimens). Submarginal setae setose, much more abundant than marginal setae, each about 8–11 µm long.

Antennae each with 6 segments, segment III apparently without pseudo-articulations; total length 200–230 µm. Clypeolabral shield about 160–165 µm long. Spiracles: width of peritremes 40–62 µm. Legs well developed; each without a tibio-tarsal articulatory sclerosis; claw denticles absent; claw digitules both broad and slightly shorter than tarsal digitules; dimensions of metathoracic legs (µm): coxa 105–120; trochanter + femur 140–155; tibia 100–108; tarsus 53–65, and claw 20–22.

Discussion. In lacking tubular ducts in the cephalic region and in having abundant stigmatic setae around the margins, C. balachowskyi   is superficially very similar to C. ghesquierei   , described as new below. It is easily separable due to the following combination of characters (those for C. ghesquierei   in brackets): (i) dorsal setae on each anal plate in a different arrangement, with 2 large dorsal setae near inner margin (all large dorsal setae near posterior margin); (ii) dorsal clear area exceptionally large, extending laterally to dorsad to legs (much smaller), with many dorsal setae; (iii) stigmatic setae in each cleft rather variable in size, each group with 3–5 larger setae (only dorsal-most seta enlarged), and (iv) with many (8–18) marginal stigmatic setae along anterior margin between eyespots (0–2). It is also somewhat similar to C. singularis   in having abundant stigmatic setae along the margins but these are also present along the posterior abdominal margins on C. singularis   . C. balachowskyi   is also very similar to C. galeatus   , but the latter species lacks the large dorsal clear area, has only 0–2 stigmatic setae on anterior margin of head, and all stigmatic setae are similar apart from the 1 enlarged seta near apex of each group.

Most Ceroplastes species   with loculate microducts of the rusci-type also have wax-plate lines. These could not be detected on C. balachowskyi   , probably because these lines are typically made up of loculate microducts with 2 or more satellite loculi, which are rare or perhaps sometimes absent on C. balachowskyi   .

C. balachowskyi   is currently only known from Gabon on an unknown plant.

Name derivation: the specific name balachowskyi   is in honour of Prof. A.S. Balachowsky who not only obtained these specimens but collected many other scale insects from North Africa and the Mediterranean and was the guru on Palaearctic Diaspididae   .