Description of insects


Identifying mealybugs is difficult and often requires a microscopic study to determine the species. Usually females are studied. Sexual dimorphism in these insects is pronounced. The male with a pair of developed wings does not feed because he does not have mouthparts. The adult female is always wingless and it is most often she who is noticed, she is mobile or not. The legs are reduced in adults; the head and thorax are fused. Mealybug larvae are always mobile (Figure 4).

- Coccidae (lecanins and fluffy mealybugs)

The females of these scale insects have a more or less rounded shell (or shield) (figure 1).

  • Parthenolecanium corni (Bouché, 1844), dogwood and vine lechanine

The adult female has the shape of an oval hull in "bowler hat", brown to reddish measuring 4 to 6 mm long which remains stuck on the support during the laying (figure 3). It is a very polyphagous species.

  • Parthenolecanium persicae (Fabricius, 1776), peach carapace cochineal

The shell female's is more elongated and darker in color (figure 2), but also remains stuck to the support during spawning. This very polyphagous species is present on all continents.

  • Pulvinaria vitis (Linnaeus, 1758), vine flake cochineal

This species is larger than the previous ones. The female's shell rises during egg-laying and forms a ovisac short, rounded , non-viscous waxy white, without an axial groove.

  • Neopulvinaria innumerabilis (Rathvon, 1854), maple flake cochineal

This species resembles the previous one. The female's body is surrounded by thorns, the visacac is elongated with an axial groove and contains a sticky wax (Figure 5).


- Pseudococcidae , or mealybugs (mealybugs)

These mealybugs do not have a shield and are covered with whitish waxes (Figure 8). They are mobile at all stages.

  • Heliococcus bohemicus Šulc, 1912, Bohemian scale

Polyphagous species, the body of the female is surrounded by long filaments which are typical of the species (figure 6). Females are ovo-viviparous, ie the embryo develops in their body.

  • Phenacoccus aceris (Signoret, 1875), apple or plane tree scale

Females, oviparous like all other species (except the previous one), do not have long filaments, but are covered with a powdery wax all over the body with thick waxy expansions around the body, they are pinkish gray in color. and are 4 mm long by 2.5 mm (Figure 7).

  • Pseudococcus viburni (Signoret 1875), mealybug (formerly P. affinis )

This species is also present in fruit trees and in greenhouses where it overwinters. The body is covered with a waxy whitish secretion which protects it.

In this family, we can also meet Planococcus ficus (Signoret, 1875), fig cochineal, the slightly pinkish female of which bears small lateral expansions. This species is very polyphagous. Observed especially in Corsica and the Côte d'Azur, Planococcus citri Risso, 1813, the citrus cochineal may be present on vines. These two species look very similar.

Last change : 04/20/21
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