Common name

Pine bast scales or matsucoccids

Field characters

Body of adult female from 3 to 7 mm long; generally elongate oval; body color varies from red, green, to brown; large antennae protrude from head in a "V" shape; cyst stages occur under the bark, in needle fascicles, or on needle surfaces; usually found wandering on host or under bark; normally producing white filamentous ovisac from posterior end of body.

Validation characters

Without distinct anal opening; tarsi 2-segmented; with cicatrices; antennae with reticulate pattern; basal antennal segment noticeably longer than other segments; with 9 antennal segments; coxa divided longitudinally; without campaniform sensilla on tarsus; with 2 capitate claw digitules.


This family group has varied in its rank from being a tribe and subfamily of the Xylococcinae or Xylococcidae to being a separate and distinct subfamily or family. Matusucoccidae Morrison was first used as a family by Koteja (1974).


Pine bast scales are most abundant in the northern hemisphere, but several species are known from Australia. Find a list of species from the Nearctic region


Matsucoccids are primarily found on species of the genus Pinus, but Australian groups are reported to feed on coniferous hosts in the genera Agathis and Araucaria.

Life history

Because many species of this family are forest pests, their life history is relatively well known. There are 3 instars in the female and 5 in the male. Females have a legged crawler, legless cyst, and legged adult. Males transform from the legged crawler, legless cyst, mobile legged prepupa, legged pupa in a wax cocoon, and adult. The adult female usually produces an ovisac at the posterior end of the body in which she lays many eggs. The eggs hatch into crawlers which settle under bark, on needles, or in needle fascicles where they molt to the cyst stage. The cyst eventually molts to the adult female. Males proceed through the same early instars but molt to a third-instar prepupa which may move on the host and eventually produces a waxy cocoon. The pupa and adult male develop within the cocoon. Many species have a single generation each year, but Matsucoccus josephi Bodenheimer can have as many as 5 or 6 generations.

Important references

Beardsley 1968; Boratynski 1952; Branco, Brito, Jactel, Mendel, Franco 2002; Brimblecombe 1960; Gill 1993; Hodgson and Foldi 2006; McClure 1977b; McKenzie 1942a; Foldi 2005.


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