Common name

South African pit scale

Field characters

Body nearly circular, with posterior end produced; convex in lateral view; body pale yellow; test translucent with conspicuous median carina and faint transverse striations. Marginal and dorsal areas with white wax filaments; dorsal filaments arranged in tufts along median line and in transverse rows elsewhere; marginal filaments conspicuous. Occurring on stems usually in small depression.

Validation characters

Marginal 8-shaped pores in double row between spiracles; dorsal 8-shaped pores arranged in medial groups and in irregular transverse rows; quinquelocular pores forming 2 or more submarginal rows between spiracles; multilocular pores in 3 rows near vulva; submarginal discoidal pores present near marginal 8-shaped pores. Other characters: Legs absent; antennae 1-segmented; without a pygidium; 8-shaped pores prevalent.


Planchonia stentae is similar to P. arabidis Signoret by having multiple marginal rows of quinquelocular pores and by having 2 partial rows of marginal 8-shaped pores. P. stentae differs by having 3 rows of multilocular pores near the vulva (P. arabidis has 4 or 5 rows).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 7 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating primarily from Central and northern South America (Antigua and Barbuda, Ecuador, El Salvador, Dominican Republic), and India. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from El Salvador (plant); Jamaica (Kalanchoe); Kenya (Stapelia); South Africa (Anacampseros, Caralluma, Euphorbia, Hoodia, Huernia, Stapelia); Zimbabwe (Caralluma). ScaleNet lists it on 15 host families. It is most commonly collected on succulents. This species is apparently native to South Africa and surrounding countries but has recently been discovered in Colombia, Martinique, Mexico, Puerto Rico and The United States of America (California, Florida). Another species of Planchonia other than P. stentae has been taken in quarantine, P. arabidis Signoret (Jamaica, on Thymus; Puerto Rico, on Eryngium).

Important references

Gill1993; Russel1941; Stumpf2000; StumpfLa2000.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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