Common name

Polliniines

Field characters

Mycetococcus is yellow, has a thin white scale cover, and is embedded in a symbiotic fungal mat on the twigs and branches of the host. Pollinia is red, is covered with a tough white sac, and occurs in cracks of the bark. The general appearance of Sclerosococcus is not known.

Validation characters

Tubular ducts 8-shaped, without an invagination or enlarged truncate filament; legs absent; antennae reduced to 1 segment; anal ring reduced apparently without pores or setae.

Notes

It is unclear whether these genera are related to one another and if they should be included in a group with the more typical asterolecaniids. Other families such as the Phoenicococcidae and Halimococcidae have 8-shaped tubular ducts, and several of the other features characterizing the Polliniinae; perhaps they are related.

Distribution

Polliniines are known from the Palaearctic (1 genus and 1 species); Nearctic (3 genera and 3 species); and the Neotropical region (1 genus and 2 species).

Hosts

Hosts include olive, oaks, and bromeliads.

Life history

Little is known about the life history of this group. Pollinia is known to have 2 generations a year in California and Italy. One species of Mycetococcus is always associated with Septobasidium fungi.

Important references

Ferris 1955a; Gill 1993; Lambdin 1980; McKenzie 1958; 1963.

Diversity

The Polliniinae includes 3 genera and 7 species, as understood here. They are Mycetococcus corticis (Townsend and Cockerell), M. ehrhorni (Cockerell), Pollinia pollini (Costa), Sclerosococcus bromeliae McKenzie, S. chilensis Lambdin, S. ferrisi McKenzie, and S. tillandsiae Lambdin. There likely are others.