Common name

Pityococcids

Field characters

Body rotund or elongate, generally pink or yellow, producing small amounts or wax around body; found under bark or lichens.

Validation characters

Eight abdominal spiracles; cicatrices present medially near vulva, similar in appearance to circuli; coxa divided longituinally; fewer than 10 setae on hind tibia (when present); pores in atrium of thoracic spiracles; basal antennal segment longer than other segments; tubular ducts without invagination.

Notes

The pityococcids have generally been considered to be part of the Margarodidae sensu lato and originally were placed with the Coelostomidiidae (=Coelostomidiinae). Gullan and Sjaarda (2001) presented a phylogeny that showed affinities with the coelostomidiids and monophlebids but suggested that pityococcids might better be placed in its own higher taxon. Pityococcidae McKenzie was first treated as a family by Koteja (1998a).

Distribution

Extant pityococcids only occur in the Nearctic region. Cancerococcus (a fossil) is known from Jutland (=Denmark).

Hosts

Pityococcids are found on the genus Pinus.

Life history

Little is known about the bionomics of species in this family. Gill (1993) suggested that they most likely have a single generation each year. They occur under the bark of their host and have a legless cyst stage.

Important references

Gill 1993; Gullan and Sjaarda 2001; Hodgson and Foldi 2006; Koteja 1988b, 2000c; McKenzie 1942.

Diversity

Click here for a list of all pityococcid genera and species.