Common name

Moestus soft scale

Field characters

Little is known about the appearance of this species in the field. Specimens are flat in lateral view and occur on the leaves and fruit of the host.

Validation characters

Dorsal setae enlarged, cylindrical or clavate, apically rounded; ventral tubular ducts present between middle legs, sometimes present near hind legs; dorsal submarginal tubular ducts usually present around body, conspicuously larger than ventral ducts. Other characters: Claw without denticle; claw digitules equal; 3 pairs of prevulvar setae (posterior pair often obscured by anal plates); 9-15 submarginal tubercles around body margin; marginal setae slender, apices usually fimbriate; with tibio-tarsal sclerosis; antennae usually 8-segmented, sometimes with 7-segments; anal plates with posterior margin slightly longer than anterior margin; each anal plate with 4 apical setae, without a subdiscal seta; with 3 subapical setae on each plate; anal fold with 4 fringe setae; 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.


Coccus moestus is similar to C. hesperidum but differs by having the apices of the dorsal setae broadly rounded or clavate (the apices are pointed or slightly rounded in C. hesperidum) and the dorsal submarginal tubular ducts form a nearly continuous band (an irregular band on C. hesperidum) and are conspicuously larger than the ventral ducts (the dorsal ducts are about the same size or smaller than the ventral tubular ducts in C. hesperidum).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 14 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. We have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Dominican Republic (Bactris); Jamaica (Artocarpus); Puerto Rico (Mangifera); Trinidad (Mangifera). We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Dominican Republic (Bactris); Jamaica (Artocarpus); Puerto Rico (Mangifera); Trinidad (Mangifera). ScaleNet includes hosts in 8 plant families. It is very commonly intercepted on Rambutan (Nephelium, Sapindaceae-Soapberry family). ScaleNet distribution records for C. moestus include the following zoogeographical regions: (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar); : Bonin Islands (=Ogasawara-Gunto), Federated States of Micronesia (Caroline Islands, Truk Islands); Guam; Palau; Vanuatu (=New Hebrides), (various countries) and (China and Japan). Two species of Coccus other than C. capparidis Green, C. hesperidum Linnaeus, C. longulus (Douglas), C. moestus, 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 (The Philippines, on Dimocarpus, Lansium and Synsepalum).

Important references

DeLott1959; GillNaWi1977; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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