Common name

False armored scales or conchaspidid

Field characters

Body hidden under thick wax cover similar in structure to armored scale cover except exuviae not incorporated. Cover not attached to body, often volcano shaped with ridges radiating from scale apex; round or oval in outline. Some covers without conical top, but usually with ridges. Cover of most species white or dirty white. Body of female usually white.

Validation characters

Posterior abdominal segments coalesced into pygidium; legs present in all but 1 species; tibia and tarsus fused; antennae 3- to 5-segmented; ocellar spot on head; 2 genera with metathoracic sclerotizations near hind coxae.

Notes

This family is readily recognized by the armored scale type cover that does not include the exuviae, the abortive legs with fused segments, the short setae, and the ocellar spots. The thoracic spiracles have pores in sclerotization of spiracle, but not in atrium. Conchaspididae Green was first used as a family by Brues and Melander (1932).

Distribution

False armored scales occur in all zoogeographic regions but probably are invasive in the Australasian and Palaearctic region. Madagascar seems to have the greatest diversity of species. Click here for a list of genera and species from the Australasian region, Afrotropical region, Nearctic region, Neotropical region, Oriental region, and Palaearctic region. The group seems to prefer tropical areas, although Fagisuga is abundant in the cool areas of South America.

Hosts

Conchaspidids are frequently collected on trees and woody perennials, but they also are found on orchids, euphorbias, and palms among others.

Life history

False armored scales have 4 female instars and 5 in the male. First instars settle on the host but do not produce a cover until the first molt. They usually settle on the leaves or branches of the host.

Important references

Ben-Dov 1974, 1981; Mamet 1954b, 1959a; Williams 1985e, 1992.

Diversity

Click here for a check list of all conchaspidid genera and species.