Common name

Indian wax scale

Field characters

Body elliptical, or round; convex in lateral view; body dark reddish brown; with a thick wax covering; eggs laid in chamber under body of adult; ovisac absent. The following description is from Gimpel et al. (1974). Test: wet wax nearly round in dorsal view, hemispherical laterally, normally with anteriorly projecting horn, white to pinkish white, with conspicuous marginal flange which may hide lateral filaments, plates visible only on older adult females, without nuclei. Dry wax with filaments as follows: cephalic filament appearing trifurcate, with acute apices; anterolateral and mediolateral filaments simple; posterolateral filaments bifurcate; caudal filaments simple; dorsal dry wax of first and second instars forming cap at apex of horn, not surrounded by nucleus; dorsal dry wax tilted anteriorly. Stigmatic wax bands present near both spiracles, anterior band directed dorsally, filamentous wax confined to stigmatic areas. On stems, branches, and leaves.

Validation characters

Without dorsomedial clear area; body margin with filamentous ducts; about 54 stigmatic setae laterad of each stigmatic furrow, arranged in 6 irregular rows. Other characters: Tubular ducts with inner filament unexpanded, present on head and near anal opening; dorsal setae cylindrical, apex acute, rounded and expanded, or truncate; stigmatic setae bullet shaped, with pointed or slightly rounded apices; marginal setae simple; 1 pair of prevulvar setae (often obscured by anal plates); multilocular pores on all abdominal segments sometimes near middle and hind pairs of legs; multilocular pores anterior of anterior spiracle, when present, predominantly with 5 loculi, about same size as pores laterad of anterior spiracle; tibio-tarsal sclerosis absent; claw without denticle; claw digitules unequal; antennae usually 6-segmented; area around anal region sclerotized, forming protuberance; anal plates rounded, without distinct angles; each anal plate with 1 subapical seta, 4 apical setae, and 1 subdiscal seta; anal fold with 5 or 6 fringe setae, normally 6; preopercular pores inconspicuous, restricted to area anterior of anal plates; without submarginal tubercles.


Ceroplastes ceriferus is most similar to C. pseudoceriferus Green by lacking a dorsomedial clear area, having marginal filamentous ducts, and having more than 30 stigmatic setae laterad of each spiracleCeroplastes ceriferus differs by having about 54 stigmatic setae laterad of each spiracle (about 130 in C. pseudoceriferus), about 10 filamentous setae between anterior and posterior clusters of stigmatic setae (about 40 in C. pseudoceriferus), and antennae about 240 µ long (about 535 µ long in C . pseudoceriferus).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 3 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Singapore, Malaysia and Mexico.We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Japan (Azalea, Buxus, Camellia, Chaenomeles, Citrus, Fatsia, Pyracantha, Spirea). ScaleNet lists hosts in more than 50 plant families from countries in every zoogeographic region. Interceptions were on Podocarpus and Alpinia. One species of Ceroplastes other than C. ceriferus, C. cirripediformis Comstock, C. floridensis Comstock, C. japonicus Green, C. rubens Maskell, C. rusci (Linneaus), C. sinensis Del Guercio and C. stellifer (Westwood) has been intercepted at a U. S. port-of-entry, C. cistudiformis Cockerell (Mexico, on Punica).

Important references

GimpelMiDa1974; HamonWi1984; HodgsoHe2000; QinGu1994; Tang1991; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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