Antonina transvaalensis Brain

Williams, D. J., 2001, African species of the mealybug genus Antonina Signoret (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae), Journal of Natural History 35 (6), pp. 833-848: 844-846

publication ID 10.1080/00222930152123639

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Antonina transvaalensis Brain


Antonina transvaalensis Brain  

(®gure 5) Antonina transvaalensis Brain, 1915: 23   ; De Lotto, 1958: 80 (in part); Yang and Kosztarab,

1967: 38 (misidenti®cation); Ben-Dov, 1994: 40 (in part); Hendricks and Kosztarab, 1999:

126. Lectotype adult m, South Africa, examined, here designated ( SANC).  


Adult female in life described originally as`in closely felted sacs attached to the bases of stems of grasses. Ovisacs oval, spherical, or ¯attened according to the position on the food plant. When attached to the outer surfaces of grasses the ovisacs are often clustered and rounded, when between leaf sheaths circular, and disc-like. The ovisac is usually complete, white, densely felted, and brittle’.

On microscope slide, adult female broadly oval, 1.50±2.75 mm long, 1.10±2.10 mm wide, anal lobes poorly developed, body membranous except for heavily sclerotized posterior end, sclerotization at most over lateral part of abdominal segment VI and all of segments VII and VIII, but probably entire body becoming sclerotized at full maturity. Antennae each 60±80 m m long, with two segments. Labium 120±140 m m long, much shorter than clypeolabral shield. Positions of legs indicated by small sclerotized scars. Anal ring with six stout setae each 110±115 m m long, bluntly tipped, situated at base of anal tube 125±150 m m long, 90±110 m m wide. Vulva with lateral and posterior pairs of slender clavate apophyses.

Dorsal surface with slender ¯agellate setae on head, thorax and anterior abdominal segments; setae becoming thicker to almost conical posteriorly; longer stout setae, many bluntly tipped, mostly 30±45 m m long, present on margins of abdominal segments VIII; longest setae on margins of abdominal segment VII, 17.50 m m long. Multilocular disc pores each about 8.75 m m in diameter, with 10 or 11 loculi, present around anal opening; one or two sometimes located on thorax. Trilocular pores with heavily sclerotized rims, each about 6.25 m m wide, distributed across most segments, sparse or absent on posterior abdominal segments. Minute discoidal pores, each about half the width of a trilocular pore and with a wide sclerotized rim, fairly numerous. Tubular ducts each with inner ¯ange and rounded inner end, of two main sizes. A large type, about 12.5 m m long, 7.5 m m wide, forming a transverse band across anterior ends of abdominal segments VII and VIII and present in lateral areas of abdominal segment VI. A small narrow type, about 12.5 m m long, 5 m m wide (narrower than a trilocular pore), abundant over entire surface anterior to large-type ducts.

Ventral surface with similar slender setae to those on dorsum; longer setae present on posterior abdominal segments, longest around posterior margin, some bluntly tipped, up to 75 m m long; a pair of ¯agellate apical setae present, each 105±170 m m long, thicker at base than other setae. Trilocular pores as on dorsum, scattered; small trilocular pores, each about 3.75±5.00 m m wide, present in compact groups at spiracular openings. Multilocular disc pores as on dorsum, absent from spiracular openings but present near spiracles, numerous across thoracic and abdominal segments, mostly in medial and submedial areas, rarely reaching lateral margins; a group also extending on to venter of anal opening. Disc-like pores, each with a reticulate surface and with a faint sclerotized rim, varying in size, mostly about 5 m m in diameter but occasionally as wide as a multilocular disc pore; each pore with a narrow clear area outside rim, resembling a halo, this area becoming wider in mature specimens giving pore a larger appearance; present in submedial areas of abdominal segments II±IV, forming a submedial band within area of submedial multilocular disc pores. Tubular ducts of same two sizes as on dorsum. A large type distributed laterally on abdominal segment VII and over most of anterior surface of abdominal segment VIII. A narrow type abundant over most of remaining surface. Discoidal pores as on dorsum, scattered.

Material examined

South Africa; Transvaal , Pretoria, Daspoort, on roots of grass, 11 November 1914 (C. K. Brain) (LECTOTYPE and PARALECTOTYPES) ( SANC, USNM); on roots of grass, 29 December 1970 (G. De Lotto) ( SANC)   .


A. transvaalensi   s is very close to A. graminis   but diOEers in having far fewer disclike pores, present on abdominal segments II±IV only. In A. graminis   the disc-like pores extend from the metathorax to abdominal segment VI and sometimes to segment VII. Furthermore, the rims of the pores in A. transvaalensi   s are faint whereas in A. graminis   they are sclerotized and distinct. A. transvaalensis   also diOEers from A. graminis   in possessing slender dorsal ¯agellate setae on the head, thorax and anterior abdominal segments; in A. graminis   , the setae in these areas are minute and almost conical.

There has been confusion about the identity of this species since De Lotto (1958) synonymized the name with A. natalensis   . The specimens on which De Lotto (1958) based his description and illustration of A. natalensis   clearly represent A. transvaalensi   s. These are teneral specimens, well prepared, and the accompanying illustration is based on them. Yang and Kosztarab (1967), in a study of immature instars of Antonina   , concluded that A. transvaalensi   s was distinct from A. natalensis   , but the species on which they based their description of A. natalensis   was actually A. panica   , another species whose name was synonymized with A. natalensis   by De Lotto (1958).

There are two original adult females on the same slide, labelled by Brain, No. 70, kindly made available by Ian M. Millar, Plant Protection Research Institute, Pretoria. A small cover slip covers the numbers 1±2 and the lectotype designated is the right specimen or No. 2. The other specimen, No. 1, is here designated paralectotype and both are clearly labelled ( SANC). A further original slide from Brain’s collection, also labelled No. 70, in the scale insect collection, USNM, Beltsville, Maryland, contains three complete adult females and one ®rst-instar larva. These are also designated paralectotypes. There is also part of an adult female on the same slide. The date on this slide was inadvertently labelled 1939 instead of 1914. Eight specimens prepared by De Lotto and collected in 1970 have also been studied through the kindness of Ian M. Millar   .


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History