Common name

Brown soft scale

Field characters

Body broadly oval to round; flat to slightly convex in lateral view; body yellow-green to yellow-brown, usually with small brown flecks scattered on dorsum; body turning brown with age; without an obvious wax covering; ovisac absent. Occurring on arboreal parts of plant. Males usually absent; eggs hatch within body of female.

Validation characters

Dorsal setae enlarged, apically acute or slightly rounded, not capitate; ventral tubular ducts medial between middle legs, with a few near base of hind legs; dorsal submarginal tubular ducts often present around body margin, same size or smaller than ventral ducts; claw with or without small denticle. Other characters: claw digitules equal or rarely unequal; 3 pairs of prevulvar setae (posterior pair often obscured by anal plates); 0-21 submarginal tubercles around body margin; marginal setae slightly enlarged, usually weakly fimbriate, occasionally simple; anal plates with posterior margin longer than anterior margin; each anal plate with 4 apical setae, without a subdiscal seta; with 2 or rarely 3 subapical setae on each plate; anal fold with 4 fringe setae; with or without tibio-tarsal sclerosis; antennae 7- or 8-segmented; stigmatic setae differentiated from other marginal setae, middle seta conspicuously longer than lateral setae; multilocular pores normally with 10 loculi; multiloculars usually confined to vulvar area, 1 or 2 pores on segments 6 or 7; preopercular pores in small numbers, inconspicuous.
There is considerable morphological variation, but all specimens examined lack a complete band of tubular ducts between the hind pair of legs, and at least a few dorsal setae are apically pointed. Hodgson (1967) described considerable variation of single populations of this species that had relatively consistent differences between specimens on the stems and leaves


Coccus hesperidum is similar to C. moestus De Lotto but differs by having the apices of the dorsal setae acute or slightly rounded (the apices are broadly rounded or clavate in C. moestus) and the dorsal submarginal tubular ducts are about the same size as the ventral tubular ducts (the dorsal ducts are conspicuously larger than the ventral ducts in C. moestus). Coccus hesperidum also is similar to C. viridis (Green) but differs by having the marginal setae weakly fimbriate or simple (these setae are broadly fimbriate in C. viridis) the multilocular pores are rare anterior of the vulvar segments (the multiloculars are abundant forward to segment 2 or 3 on C. viridis).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 718 times on a variety of hosts at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Guatemala, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordon, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, The Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Lucia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, The United Arab Emirates, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and N. Ireland, The United States of America, Uruguay, and Vietnam. It is one of the most cosmopolitan and polyphagous species of all scale insects (WilliaWa1990); therefore older quarantine records are not given. ScaleNet includes hosts on over 120 plant families from 110+ countries and all zoogeographic regions worldwide. Two species of Coccus other than C. capparidis Green, C. hesperidum, C. longulus (Douglas), C. moestus De Lotto , C. pseudohesperidum (Cockerell) and C. viridis (Green) have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry, C. alpinus De Lotto (Brazil, on Coffea) and C. celatus De Lotto (The Philippines, on Dimocarpus, Lansium and Synsepalum).

Important references

Gill1988; Hodgso1967; Hodgso1994a; GillNaWi1977; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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