Common name

Iceplant scale

Field characters

Body oval to circular; moderately convex in cross section; body green in newly formed females turning reddish brown in older females; without obvious wax covering except just before oviposition when covered with sparse mealy secretion; ovisac produced beneath and behind female, convex, often with mediodorsal goove, white, flocculent, about 1 or 2 times length of body. Occurring on succulent leaves of host. Males are common. Eggs laid inside ovisac.

Validation characters

Marginal setae spinelike, usually curved, with simple apices; without submarginal tubercles; anal plates each with 1 subdiscal seta. Other characters: Each anal plate with 3 apical setae and 2 or 3 subapical setae; anal fold with 4 fringe setae; ventral tubular ducts scattered over surface; multilocular pores normally with 10 loculi; multiloculars present in vulvar area forward to segment 2; dorsal tubular ducts present; tibio-tarsus articulated, with sclerosis; claw with minute denticle; claw digitules equal; 3 pairs of prevulvar setae (posterior pair often obscured by anal plates); stigmatic setae differentiated from other marginal setae, middle seta longer than lateral setae; anal plates with posterior margin about equal in length to anterior margin; antennae 8-segmented; preopercular pores relatively conspicuous, restricted to area anterior of anal plates.


Pulvinariella mesembryanthemi is similar to P. delottoi by having spinelike marginal setae, numerous tubular ducts, and multilocular pores predominantly with 10 loculi present in medial areas of most abdominal segments. Pulvinariella mesembryanthemi differs by having thin and predominantly curved marginal setae (marginal setae in P. delottoi are relatively thick and straight).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 1 time at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with the specimen originating from Italy (Italy, Aizoaceae). We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Italy (Mesembryanthemum, Portulaca), Mexico (Aizoaceae), and Portugal (Mesembryanthemum). ScaleNet includes hosts in Aizoaceae and Chenopodiaceae; species of Carpobrotus (=Mesembryanthemum) are the most common. ScaleNet distribution records for P. mesembryanthemi include the Afrotropical, Australasian, Nearctic, Neotropical and Palaearctic regions. No other species of Pulvinariella have been taken in quarantine.

Important references

Gill1988; Hodgso1994a; WashbuFr1985.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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