Cryptostigma melissophilum Kondo

Kondo, Takumasa, 2010, Taxonomic revision of the myrmecophilous, meliponiphilous and rhizophilous soft scale genus Cryptostigma Ferris (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Coccidae) 2709, Zootaxa 2709, pp. 1-72: 37-41

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Cryptostigma melissophilum Kondo

sp. nov.

Cryptostigma melissophilum Kondo   , sp. nov.

( Figs 1A, 14 & 15)

Material examined. Holotype. Adult ♀. BRAZIL: Amazonas, Rio Negro, Tapurucuara Mirim, 0º25’17”S, 66º24”22”W, 3.vii.1999, coll. João M.F. Camargo and Silvia R.M. Pedro, ex Campsiandra angustifolia   , inside nest of Schwarzula coccidophila   , series number 741c ( Apidae   : Meliponini   ), AL-051-2001, 1 (1) ( MZSP).

Paratypes. Same data as holotype 2 (3: 1 adult ♀ + 2 first-instar nymphs) ( MZSP); 29 ( RPSP) in alcohol; 7 (7: 4 adult ♀ + 3 first-instar nymphs) ( USNM); same data as holotype but 2.vii.1999, 4 (4) ( USNM), 75 ( RPSP) in alcohol   .

Adult female ( Figs 1A & 14)

Unmounted material. Young adult female subcircular, flattish, constricted at stigmatic clefts; entire body covered with small grayish white waxy flakes; color of body peach pink after removal of wax, with orbicular pores visible as tiny red-brown spots, and with a somewhat powdery wax present just around each orbicular pore; anal plates and circular area around plates reddish to purplish brown; anal cleft only just visible; area around spiracular peritremes conspicuously marked by white spots made of a wax secreted by spiracular discpores. Mature adult female highly convex, oval to elongate oval, becoming irregular in shape when crowded, dorsum with a somewhat granulose texture, body constricted at the stigmatic clefts; color of insect peach pink; dorsum with 6–7 yellowish-white transverse intersegmental lines separated from each other at regular intervals; transverse lines interrupted by a median longitudinal groove and 1 or 2 additional grooves running from thoracic region near head posteriorly towards area just anterior or laterad to anal plates. Orbicular pores present close to body margin, represented by 3 tiny circular reddish-brown spots: 1 on head region, and 1 between stigmatic areas on each side of body. Area around spiracular peritreme marked by snow-white wax. Different growth stages usually found within each colony, with first- and second-instar nymphs appearing yellowish.

Mounted material. Body outline oval, constricted in areas of stigmatic clefts; 6.0–11.0 mm long, 5.2–8.5 mm wide (n=10).

Dorsum. Derm membranous; with 3 subcircular orbicular pores: 1 on head region, and 1 on each side between anterior and posterior stigmatic areas; each pore 162–329 µm wide. Dorsum with apodemes clearly visible, evenly distributed on dorsum; most conspicuous on submarginal area. Dorsal setae absent. Cribriform platelets each 7–11 µm wide, with 4–8 pores, each platelet square, hexagonal or irregular in shape. Simple pores of 2 types: large simple pores each 7–11 µm wide, thick; numerous, scattered evenly on dorsum; small simple pores each 2–3 µm wide; numerous, evenly distributed on dorsum. Dorsal microducts unilocular, each about 3–4 µm wide, thick rimmed, sunken; evenly distributed on dorsum. Preopercular pores absent. Sclerotic crescent present around anal plates. Anal plates together quadrate, with rounded angles, each plate 194–232 µm long, 102–113 µm wide, with about 16 setae on dorsal surface, plus about 7 ventral subapical setae on each plate; plates located about 1/5–1/4 of body length from posterior margin. Anal ring with 10 setae. Eyes absent.

Margin. Margin rugose. Marginal setae present, each 15–22 µm long and sharply spinose, with welldeveloped bases; arranged in a single irregular row, numerous, about 32–45 between anterior and posterior stigmatic areas. Stigmatic clefts very deep, stigmatic sclerotization extending to dorsad to spiracles. Stigmatic setae each subequal in length (15–21 µm long) and bluntly spinose, with 3 in each cleft but often broken off.

Venter. Derm membranous. Ventral setae slender, straight or slightly bent, each 7–15 µm long, abundant on abdominal segments and toward body margin. Ventral microducts each about 3–4 µm wide, scattered on venter, numerous around labium. Tubular ducts absent. Clypeolabral shield 361–426 µm wide. Multilocular disc-pores each 4–6 µm wide with 5–9 (mostly with 8) loculi, sunken; abundant around vulva and in a submarginal band in abdominal region, forming a line of pores extending from vulva alongside anal cleft to spiracular disc-pores of posterior spiracle; pores also present on mid-venter on all abdominal segments. Spiracular disc-pores each 4–6 µm wide with 5–8 (mostly 8) loculi, sunken; numerous, found within a spiracular furrow extending from laterad to each spiracular peritreme to stigmatic cleft. Antennae reduced, with 3–8 antennal segments, total length 94–117 µm; tips of fleshy setae commonly bifurcating. Legs reduced, atrophied; with most segments fused, total length 47–149 µm. Prothoracic tarsal digitules dissimilar, 1 slender, 1 knobbed. Meso- and metathoracic tarsal digitules similar, knobbed. Claw digitules, slender, knobbed. Claw without a denticle. Spiracles larger than legs, located near margin. Anterior spiracular peritremes each 216–259 µm wide, posterior peritremes each 243–297 µm wide.

Diagnosis. The adult female of C. melissophilum   can be diagnosed by the following features: (i) body shape oval, (ii) dorsal setae absent, (iii) dorsum with 3 orbicular pores, (iv) cribriform platelets present, (v) anal plates with about 16 setae on dorsal surface, (vi) stigmatic setae totalling 3 per cleft, but often broken off, (vii) apodemes conspicuous on dorsal derm marginally and submarginally, (viii) some fleshy setae on antennae always branched, and (ix) presence of a marginal band of multilocular disc-pores around body margin on abdomen. C. melissophilum   appears most similar in morphology to C. jonmartini   . Besides the morphological differences between the two species given in the key to adult female Cryptostigma   , C. melissophilum   and C. jonmartini   can be separated by the following character states: (i) the thickness of the waxy layer covering the dorsum of live specimens (rather thick, about 1.5 mm or more in C. melissophilum   ; thin, less than 1 mm in C. jonmartini   ); and (ii) the width of posterior spiracular peritremes (each 243–297 µm wide in C. melissophilum   ; 145–200 µm wide in C. jonmartini   ). In addition, C. jonmartini   is associated with tending ants whereas C. melissophilum   is associated with bees.

Remarks. Cryptostigma melissophilum   , as the name suggests, is closely associated with stingless bees. Camargo and Pedro (2002a) discovered and reported in detail the bee-coccid association and identified the bee as Schwarzula sp.   (now Schwarzula coccidophila Camargo & Pedro, 2002b   ), family Apidae   : tribe Meliponini   . The stingless bees obtain honeydew for food and also collect wax from the waxy test to build their nest ( Camargo and Pedro, 2002a). C. melissophilum   has a rather thick waxy layer which is constantly harvested by the stingless bees which rub the wax between their basitarsi to form pellets   , which they then transport in their mandibles to their nest where it is stored as wax deposits or used in the construction or repair of their nest ( Camargo & Pedro 2002a). The thicker wax layer in C. melissophilum   may therefore be an adaptation to this mutualistic relationship with the stingless bees. The wax of ant-tended coccid species does not seem to be collected or used by tending ants, which appear to be only interested in the honeydew. Symbiotic relationships in the Apidae   are rare, with only about 3 reports known (J.M.F. Camargo, personal communication).

First-instar nymph ( Fig. 15)

Unmounted material. Not available for study.

Mounted material. Elongate oval, 1024–1073 µm long, 733–782 µm wide (n=5).

Dorsum. Dorsal derm membranous, with segmentation delineated by membranous folds. Dorsal setae each 13–16 µm long, present in 2 mid-dorsal longitudinal rows. Trilocular pore present on each side of head near margin close to eye. Dorsal microducts each 2–4 µm wide, appearing bilocular, present submarginally and in 4 submedian rows. Simple pores each 3–4 µm wide, present submarginally and in 2 submedian longitudinal rows. Anal plates triangular, each plate 100–104 µm long, 11–32 µm wide; dorsal surface with 1 seta on anterior part of plate plus 3 apical setae; ventral surface with 1 fringe seta. Anal ring with 6 setae plus an irregular row of translucent wax pores. Eyespots present just above level of antennal scape.

Margin. Outline smooth. Marginal setae sharply spinose, each 26–36 µm long; total number 73–82, with 10–11 anteriorly between eyes, 7–11 between each eye and anterior stigmatic seta, 9–11 between each anterior and posterior stigmatic setae, and 13–16 between each posterior stigmatic seta and anal cleft. Stigmatic setae thick, bluntly spinose, each 22–30 µm long; with 1 per stigmatic cleft.

Venter. Ventral derm membranous. Antennae 6 segmented, total length 286–318 µm. Ventral submedian setae, slender, present in pairs on last 3 abdominal segments, plus a pair on thoracic region between meso- and metathoracic legs. Interantennal setae 1 pair. Ventral submarginal setae slender, with outer submarginal setae much longer than inner submarginal setae, present in 7 pairs on abdomen on each side, plus a single seta between each anterior and posterior spiracles, and 1 pair near apex of head. Ventral microducts each about 2 µm wide, with about 11 on submargin between each eye and anterior stigmatic cleft; and on each side, 7 submarginally between each anterior and posterior stigmatic setae, and about 4 or 5 near pairs of submarginal setae on abdomen, but absent from near anal cleft. Spiracular disc-pores each 4–6 µm wide with 5–8 (mostly 7) loculi; anterior stigmatic furrows each with 8–11 pores, posterior furrows each with 9–12 pores. Spiracular peritremes each 18–20 µm wide. Clypeolabral shield 226–232 µm wide. Legs well developed, with numerous setae; trochanter + femur 128–150 µm long, tibia + tarsus 139–160 µm long; microctenidia present on apex of tibia. Tarsal digitules similar, slender. Claw without a denticle; claw digitules slender, knobbed.

Diagnosis. The first-instar nymph of C. melissophilum   can be diagnosed by the following combination of features: (i) dorsal setae present in 2 longitudinal rows of about 5 pairs, (ii) with 1 stigmatic seta in each anterior and posterior stigmatic cleft, (iii) presence of 7 marginal setae between anterior and posterior stigmatic setae, (iv) antennae 6 segmented, (v) ventral submedian setae 4 pairs: 1 pair on last 3 abdominal segments, plus 1 isolated pair between meso- and metathoracic legs (vi) anterior stigmatic furrows each with 8–11 pores, posterior stigmatic furrows each with 9–12 pores, (vii) presence of 3 or 4 microducts between each pair of submarginal setae on abdomen and (viii) femur with 4 setae.

Host plants. Fabaceae   : Campsiandra angustifolia   .

Associated Hymenoptera   . Apidae   : Meliponini   : Schwarzula coccidophila Camargo & Pedro, 2002b   .

Males. Unknown.

Etymology. The specific epithet: “ melissophilum   ” is composed of the Greek words “ melissa ” meaning bee and “ philum ” which is a neutral adjective meaning loving. Named after its close association with stingless bees.

Distribution. Neotropical Region: Brazil.


Sao Paulo, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo


Universidade de Sao Paulo


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History