Common name

Urbicola soft scale

Field characters

Body oval; slightly convex in cross section; body yellow or light green in young females, as specimens mature becoming brown; without obvious wax covering; ovisac produced beneath and behind female, slightly convex, with ribbed appearance, white, flocculent, 2 to 3 time length of body. Occurring on leaves, stems and roots; oviposition on twigs, leaves, or roots. Eggs laid inside ovisac.

Validation characters

Marginal setae mostly fimbriate; dorsal tubular ducts absent; 0-8 submarginal tubercles; multilocular pores normally with 7 loculi. Other characters: Each anal plate with 4 apical setae and no subdiscal seta; with 2 or 3 subapical setae on each plate; anal fold with 4 fringe setae; ventral tubular ducts scattered over venter; multiloculars present in vulvar area forward to segment 2, abundant in mediolateral areas; multilocular pores anterior of anterior spiracle predominantly with 5 loculi, about same size as pores laterad of anterior spiracle; tibio-tarsus articulated, usually with sclerosis; claw without 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 to (rarely slightly longer than) length of anterior margin; antennae 8-segmented; preopercular pores inconspicuous, restricted to area anterior of anal plates.


Pulvinaria urbicola is similar to P. floccifera by having multilocular pores predominantly with 7 loculi and ventral multilocular pores scattered over medial areas of abdomen. Pulvinaria urbicola differs by having ventral submarginal tubular ducts on head (P. floccifera lacks tubular ducts in this area), by lacking dorsal tubular ducts (P. floccifera has these structure scattered over the dorsum), and by having most marginal setae spatulate with multiple tines (P. floccifera has many marginal setae simple or slightly expanded rarely with setae with more than 2 or 3 tines).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 34 times on a variety of hosts at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Hawaii, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, and Taiwan. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Bermuda (Coccoloba); The British Virgin Islands (Capsicum); Colombia (Capsicum); Cuba (Capsicum); Dominica (Anthurium); Haiti (unidentified plant); Jamaica (Bryophyllum, Capsicum, Codiaeum); Mexico (Capsicum, Chenopodium, Dracaena); Panama (orchid); Puerto Rico (Capsicum, Malpigia); South Africa (on unknown host), St. Lucia (Capsicum); The Virgin Islands (Hemigraphis); West Africa (on unknown host). ScaleNet includes hosts in 33 plant families; distribution records include all 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 Cockerell, P. psidii Maskell and P. urbicola 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

WilliaGr1992; Willia2004.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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