Eggplant mealybugs Centrococcus insolitus with ovisacs, from Moore et al. (2014).

Belongs within: Coccoidea.
Contains: Paracoccus, Rhizoecus, Pseudococcus, Nipaecoccus, Phenacoccus.

The Pseudococcidae include the mealy bugs, named for the thin covering of mealy wax over the body surface of many species. Some species are significant plant pests such as the citrus mealybug Planococcus citri. Conversely, the species Hypogeococcus festerianus has been used in Australia to control the harrisia cactus Eriocereus martinii (Carver et al. 1991). Many pseudococcids exhibit highly specialised symbioses with ants, who tend them for the honeydew they produce. Malaicoccus formicarii is found in association with the ant species Hypoclinea cuspidatus, and is transported by its host ants between suitable feeding sites. Emerging queens of the ant genus Acropyga carry mealybugs in their mandibles in order to establish a new mealybug 'herd' when establishing a new ant colony (Grimaldi & Engel 2005). Species of the genus Rhizoecus are subterranean, feeding on the roots of their host plants.

Characters (from Carver et al. 1991): Female with a combination of dorsal ostioles, ventral circuli, trilocular pores and usually 1-18 pairs of cerarii; anterior and posterior pairs of thoracic spiracles approximately the same size; abdominal spiracles absent; terminal segments of abdomen not fused into pygidium; anal ring often with an outer and an inner row of pores; tubular ducts not cupped at inner end.

    |--Pseudococcinae [Pseudococcini] A73
    |    |--Pseudococcus GML13
    |    |--Ferrisiana virgata (Cockerell 1893) [=Dactylopius virgatus] A73
    |    `--Nipaecoccus A73
    `--Phenacoccinae [Phenacoccini] KP01
         |--Phenacoccus LS96
         `--Centrococcus insolitus (Green 1908) [=Phenacoccus insolitus] A73

Pseudococcidae incertae sedis:
  Trabutina mannipara GE05
  Hippeococcus GE05
  Malaicococcus formicarii GE05
  Electromyrmococcus GE05
  Tympanococcus Williams 1967 GML13
  Chlorococcus Beardsley 1971 GML13
  Clavicoccus erinaceus Ferris in Zimmerman 1948 GML13
  Phyllococcus oahuensis GML13
  Melanococcus albizziae CGW91
  Australicoccus grevilleae CGW91
  *Ripersiella rumicis M27, WEE70 [=Ripersia rumicis M27]
  Tridiscus distichlii WEE70
  Amonostherium lichtensioides M96
  Anisococcus milleri M96
  Antoninoides parrotti M96
  Ehrhornia cupressi M96
  Geococcus coffeae M96
  Lachnodiella mexicana M96
  Palmicultor palmarum M96
  Prorhizoecus atopoporus M96
  Pseudantonina texana M96
  Radicoccus kelloggi M96
  Saccharicoccus sacchari M96
  Syrmococcus pecosensis M96
  Cryptoripersia arizonensis W87
  Mollicoccus Williams 1960 GML13
    `--M. guadalcanalanus Williams 1960 GML13
  Trionymus M96
    |--T. coronus M96
    `--T. perrisii K09
  Chorizococcus M96
    |--C. rostellum M96
    `--C. triunfoensis M96
  Ferrisia M96
    |--F. consobrina M96
    `--F. virgata M96
  Heliococcus M96
    |--H. corralesi M96
    `--H. deserticola M96
  Porococcus M96
    |--P. pergandei M96
    `--P. tinctorius M96
  Antonina WEE70
    |--A. bambusae B88
    |--A. graminis [incl. A. indica] C81
    `--A. nortoni M96
  Rastrococcus GE05
    |--R. iceryoides GE05
    |--R. invadens MHG04
    `--R. spinosus MHG04
  Humococcus M96
    |--H. atriplicis M96
    |--H. hilariae M96
    `--H. yenseni M96
  Hypogeococcus M96
    |--H. boharti M96
    |--H. festerianus CGW91
    |--H. othnius M96
    `--H. spinosus M96
  Planococcus S07
    |--P. citri A-G91
    |--P. lilacinus MHG04
    |--P. minor CGW91
    `--P. vovae S07
  Distichlicoccus M96
    |--D. megacirculus W87
    |--D. sahuayoensis M96
    |--D. salinus M96
    |--D. sinaloanus M96
    `--D. zacapuensis M96
  Spilococcus M96
    |--S. eriogoni M96
    |--S. larreae M96
    |--S. mamillariae M96
    |--S. sequoiae M96
    `--S. steelii M96
  Cataenococcus M96
    |--C. cualatensis M96
    |--C. ductorum M96
    |--C. guatemalensis M96
    |--C. ingrandi M96
    |--C. larai M96
    `--C. olivaceus M96
  Dysmicoccus MHG04
    |--D. bispinosus M96
    |--D. boninsis M96
    |--D. brevipes MF07
    |--D. grassi M96
    |--D. hurdi M96
    |--D. mackenziei M96
    |--D. neobrevipes MHG04
    |--D. pinicolus M96
    `--D. texensis M96
  Paracoccus M96
  Rhizoecus M96

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A-G91] Al-Gboory, J. I. 1991. Biology of oriental citrus mite, Eutetranychus orientalis (Klein) on different citrus species. In: Dusbábek, F., & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 2 pp. 607–611. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[A73] Ali, S. M. 1973. Some coccids from Goa. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 69 (3): 669–671.

[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[C81] Caltagirone, L. E. 1981. Landmark examples in classical biological control. Annual Review of Entomology 26: 213–232.

[CGW91] Carver, M., G. F. Gross & T. E. Woodward. 1991. Hemiptera (bugs, leafhoppers, cicadas, aphids, scale insects etc.) In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1 pp. 429–509. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[GML13] Gullan, P. J., M. L. Moir & M. C. Leng. 2013. A new species of mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) from critically endangered Banksia montana in Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 28 (1): 13–20.

[K09] Köhler, G. 2009. Heuschrecken (Saltatoria) und Ohrwürmner (Dermaptera) im Immissionsgebiet des Düngemittelwerkes Steudnitz/Thüringen—eine Langzeitstudie (1978–2001). Mauritiana 20 (3): 601–646.

[KP01] Koteja, J., & G. O. Poinar Jr. 2001. A new family, genus, and species of scale insect (Hemiptera: Coccinea: Kukaspididae, new family) from Cretaceous Alaskan amber. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 103 (2): 356–363.

[LS96] Levins, R., & B. B. Schultz. 1996. Effects of density dependence, feedback and environmental sensitivity on correlations among predators, prey and plant resources: Models and practical implications. Journal of Animal Ecology 65: 802–812.

[MHG04] Maynard, G. V., J. G. Hamilton & J. F. Grimshaw. 2004. Quarantine—phytosanitary, sanitary and incursion management: an Australian entomological perspective. Australian Journal of Entomology 43 (3): 318–328.

[M96] Miller, D. R. 1996. Checklist of the scale insects (Coccoidea: Homoptera) of Mexico. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 98 (1): 68–86.

[MF07] Moraes, G. J. de, & C. H. W. Flechtmann. 2007. Phytophagous mites of tropical crops in eastern South America. In: Morales-Malacara, J. B., V. M. Behan-Pelletier, E. Ueckermann, T. M. Pérez, E. G. Estrada-Venegas & M. Badii (eds) Acarology XI: Proceedings of the International Congress pp. 279–288. Instituto de Biología and Faculdad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Sociedad Latinoamericana de Acarología: México.

[M27] Myers, J. G. 1927. On the nomenclature of New Zealand Homoptera. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 685–690.

[S07] Ślipiński, A. 2007. Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): Their biology and classification. Australian Biological Resources Study: Canberra.

[W87] Walter, D. E. 1987. Belowground arthropods of semiarid grasslands. In: J. L. Capinera (ed.) Integrated Pest Management on Rangeland: A shortgrass prairie perspective pp. 271–290. Westview Press, Inc.: Boulder (Colorado).

[WEE70] Woodward, T. E., J. W. Evans & V. F. Eastop. 1970. Hemiptera (bugs, leafhoppers, etc.) In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 387–457. Melbourne University Press.

Last updated: 30 April 2022.

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