Common name

Cottony citrus scale

Field characters

Body oval; somewhat enlarged in cross section; body yellow brown with numerous brown sports; newly formed females with longitudinal medial carina on dorsum; with white fluffy wax covering dorsum and series of broad lateral filaments on head and thorax of ovipositing female; ovisac produced beneath and behind female, convex, with dorsomedial groove, white, flocculent, about equal to length of body of female. Occurring on leaves and stems; oviposition is normally on leaves. Males not observed. Eggs laid inside ovisac.

Validation characters

Stigmatic setae normally 4 or 5 in each furrow rarely 3, usually 1 seta longest, rarely similar in size; stigmatic setae differentiated from other marginal setae; most marginal setae acute, remaining setae weakly fimbriate; older adult females with reticulate pattern on dorsum; with 4-10 submarginal tubercles. Other characters: Each anal plate with 3 or 4 apical setae without a subdiscal seta; with 3 subapical setae on each plate; anal fold with 4 fringe setae; ventral tubular ducts scattered over venter; multilocular pores normally with 8 loculi; multiloculars present in vulvar area forward to segment 2, especially submarginally; dorsal tubular ducts present; tibio-tarsus articulated, with sclerosis; claw without denticle; claw digitules equal; 3 pairs of prevulvar setae (posterior pair often obscured by anal plates); anal plates with posterior margin about equal in length to anterior margin; antennae 8-segmented; preopercular pores inconspicuous, restricted to area anterior of anal plates.


Pulvinaria polygonata is distinct among species of Pulvinaria intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry by normally having more than 3 stigmatic setae and having a reticulated pattern on the dorsum. No other species has this combination of characters.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 3 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from China and Vietnam on Ochna. We also have examined other specimens taken in quarantine from India (Murraya); Sri Lanka (Murraya); and Thailand (Citrus). ScaleNet includes hosts in 7 plant families from the Afrotropical (Agalega Islands), Australasian, Oriental, and Palaearctic zoogeographic regions. A few other species of Pulvinaria have been taken in quarantine in addition to P. floccifera (Westwood), P. hydrangeae Steinweden, P. ixorae Green P. polygonata, P. psidii Maskell and P. urbicola Cockerell including: P. aurantii Cockerell (Japan, on Citrus); P. citricola Kuwana (Ecuador, on Musa; Japan, on Diospyros); P. elongata Newstead (Colombia, on Oryza ); P. horii (Kuwana) (Japan, on Acer); P. neocellulosa Takahashi (India, on Murraya); and Pulvinaria vitis (Canada, on Tilia).

Important references

Green1909a; SmithBeBr1997; Takaha1939a; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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